ERNEST BLOCH’S opera Macbeth
Libretto by Edmond Fleg after Shakespeare
Sung in English
Long Beach Opera WEST COAST PREMIERE
Review by David Gregson, Sunday, June 16
Entering the carefully enclosed area that was to serve as the performance space for Ernest Bloch’s rarely performed opera, Macbeth, I found myself seated at that fateful wooden dinner table in Cawdor Castle where its guilt-ridden lord and his murderous spouse contended with an unexpected guest: the specter of the recently murdered Banquo. I should say “virtually seated,” for my assigned chair was A-1, perhaps two feet away from the lengthy dining table itself, and as the evening progressed, I constantly had to move my feet to keep from tripping up the performers. This was a singular experience for me in a lifetime of theater going. I have been in front rows and quite close up to the action many times before, but never this close! I felt as if I might be expected to leap up and stab somebody or give Lady Macbeth a punch in the jaw.