Macbeth in Ankara Opera House
‘Macbeth’ returns to Ankara opera stage after 48 years
Hurriyet Daily News with wires, Monday, April 26, 2010
William Shakespeare’s tragedy ’Macbeth’ will appear on stage in Ankara on Wednesday after 48 years with a performance by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet. The director of the play, Yekta Kara, says almost half a century has passed since it was last staged and it is a very long time for a masterpiece like ’Macbeth’
One of the most important tragedies of William Shakespeare, “Macbeth,” which has been adapted to opera stage with Guiseppe Verdi’s melodies, will meet the audience of Ankara after 48 years. The opera will premiere on Wednesday.
The opera, which Shakespeare wrote in 1606, is one of the most significant works of the Ankara State Opera and Ballet this season. The stage director is Yekta Kara, who staged the work at the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet in 2006.
“Macbeth,” which is one of the shortest but the most important among Shakespeare’s tragedies, has so far met audiences on the world’s most important theater and opera stages. Speaking about the opera, Kara said that he last time staged the opera “Zahide” in Ankara and would meet the audience of the capital after 19 years.
He said the Ankara people viewed “Macbeth” in 1962 for the last time. “Almost half a century has passed. This is a very long time for a masterpiece like Macbeth.”
Kara said like in all plays of Shakespeare, “Macbeth” featured human, and that he knew human nature and human feelings very well and adopted it to the stage very successfully. He said Verdi had a great admiration for Shakespeare, adding that he had composed three different Shakespeare plays in his life.
“The first one was ‘Macbeth’,” Kara said. “Verdi played with ‘Macbeth’ for a long time. He composed it first, it was staged and revised in the direction of critics. Later on, it met the audience in Paris with its new version.”
Today after 10 centuries
Kara said since it featured human, “Macbeth” would always be a popular play. “There is love in most of operas. People die, cry or have problems for the sake of love. And death is always in question. There is no love in ‘Macbeth,’ we don’t see any love scene between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. But there is a great will to power,” he said, talking about the theme of the play.
“The thing that brings together a man and a woman, namely Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and caused them to collaborate is an unbelievable will to power. They commit crime for power. Many things are still the same in human nature”, Kara said.
“Macbeth takes place in 11th-century Scotland. We stage it in the 21st century in Ankara, after 10 centuries. People’s wills never end, regardless of their position. And many bitter events happen because of these wills. They shed blood, fight and kill each other for their will. It means that nothing has changed in human nature since then. But thanks to education and culture, we learn to suppress primitive feelings and the will to power. Those who fail to do it continue committing crime just as in ‘Macbeth.’”
True story of a Scottish king
“Macbeth” is the last of Shakespeare's four great tragedies, the others being “Hamlet,” “King Lear” and “Othello.” It is based on a true story of a Scottish king who rose to power through bloody ambition. The play opens as Macbeth has just vanquished an usurper to the current king's throne. He and his comrade Banquo come across three witches who prophesy that Macbeth will be made thane of Cawdor and will eventually become king. When he reaches the king's court, Macbeth is made thane of Cawdor as a reward for his bravery and loyalty. Now the witches' greater prediction begins to occupy the minds of both him and his wife. It is Lady Macbeth who plots the murder of King Duncan and the ascension of her husband to the throne. Macbeth initially resists her prodding, but finally agrees to commit the regicide. While the plot is successful and Macbeth rises to the throne, many suspect him of the murder. His reign is marked by the murders of his opponents, both real and imagined, and by the visitation of spirits. Both Macbeth and his wife suffer greatly from their guilt, until the dramatic conclusion that ends his bitter rule.