23 Feb 2006
Macbeth — Royal Opera House, London
Martin Kettle [The Guardian, 23 February 2006]
Even today, Macbeth too often fails to win the critical respect lavished on Verdi's two later and more finished Shakespeare operas. But neither does it quite hold a place in the public's affection that is granted to the other peaks of his early and middle period output. Admittedly, without Boito as librettist, Macbeth is a more pragmatic and less ambitious opera than Otello or Falstaff, while the 1865 revision we normally hear is an occasionally clunky reworking of the searingly original 1847 version.