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date: 23 October 2019


  • David Z. Kushner


Lyric drama in a prologue and three acts by Ernest Bloch to a libretto by Edmond Fleg after William Shakespeare play; Paris, Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart), 2 November 1910.

The libretto, in French, follows the play quite closely. Lucienne Bréval, to whom the opera was dedicated, sang Lady Macbeth in the première. For a later version in English, by Bloch and Alex Cohen, the composer altered certain rhythms in an effort to make the English text conform as closely as possible to Shakespeare’s. For the first Italian performance, at S Carlo, Naples, 5 March 1938, an Italian libretto was prepared by Maria Tibaldi-Chiesa. In an effort to make the action more concise, the murder of Lady Macduff and her son was deleted from this production. Important revivals of the opera took place in Rome and Trieste (1953), Brussels (1957, La Monnaie) and Milan (1960, La Scala). The first major American performance was at the University of California at Berkeley (...

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