"The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. 'Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil!"
William Shakespeare (Macbeth, Act II, Scene II)

Verdi's love affair with Shakespeare began with Macbeth, which he considered “one of the greatest human creations". He revered the Bard's works and this was the first opera he based on them. His aim was to turn his tragedy into “something out of the ordinary”. For Jaume Plensa, capturing Verdi and Shakespeare's Macbeth was a youthful dream so when Gerard Mortier asked him at Salzburg what opera he would like to direct, he did not hesitate. He has had to wait 25 years for the dream to come true.

When the witches foretell that Macbeth will be the next king of Scotland, Lady Macbeth gives destiny a hand by murdering the present King. But the witches' prophecies turn Macbeth into the bloody assassin of friends and rivals until, alone and furious, he faces his last battle and dies. A team of singers who combine dramatic intensity with vocal authority (Luca Salsi / Carlos Álvarez and Sondra Radvanovsky / Anna Pirozzi) take on the roles of the honest general driven to murder and deceit and his boundlessly ambitious wife.

One of the most fascinating sentences in the entire work — “Sleep no more” — shows us that Macbeth, besides becoming a killer, deprives himself of the possibility of sleeping peacefully for the rest of his life. Jaume Plensa, who has been haunted by these words since childhood, will set his entire iconographic universe in movement, creating a powerful aesthetic and ritual presence that makes the ideal setting for this sombre, theatrical tragedy, full of diabolical energy, performed to music masterfully conducted by Maestro Josep Pons.

With the support of:

Melodramma in four acts. Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and Andrea Maffei
World premieres:14/3/1847 at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence (first version) and 21/4/1865 at the Théâtre Lyrique de Paris (second version)
Barcelona premiere: 1/7/1848 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Last Liceu performance: 23/10/2016
Total number of Liceu performances: 117 

  • Approximate running time 3h 20min

Artistic profile

Stage director
Jaume Plensa
Set and costume design
Jaume Plensa
Antonio Ruz
Urs Schönebaum
Stage directo assistant
Leo Castaldi
Set designer assistant
Marc Salicrú
Costume assistant
Nadia Balada
Project assistant
Joan Samper and Ariadna Vila (Plensa Studio Barcelona)
Gran Teatre del Liceu


MACBETHLuca Salsi16th,19th,22th,25th,28th February
Carlos Álvarez18th,20th,23th,26th February and 1th,3th March
BANCOErwin Schrott16th,19th,20th,22th,25th,28th February
Simón Orfila18th,23th,26th February and 1th,3th March
LADY MACBETHSondra Radvanovsky16th,19th,22th,25th,28th February
Ekaterina Semenchuk18th,20th,23th,26th February and 3th March
Ekaterina Sannikova1th March
MACDUFFFrancesco Pio Galasso 16th,19th,22th,25th,28th February
Celso Albelo 18th,20th,23th,26th February and 1th,3th March
MALCOLMFabian Lara
Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Pablo Assante, director)
Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Josep Pons

Cast change

  • Mezzosoprano Ekaterina Semenchuk will made her debut at the Liceu singing Lady Macbeth, replacing Anna Pirozzi, who due to schedule problems will not be able to participate in this production.

February 2023

16Thursday19:00Turn Dbuy
18Saturday19:00Turn PBbuy
19Sunday17:00Turn Tbuy
20Monday19:00Turn Pbuy
22Wednesday19:00Turn Bbuy
23Thursday19:00Turn Hbuy
25Saturday19:00Turn Ebuy
26Sunday18:00Turn Fbuy
28Tuesday19:00Turn Abuy

March 2023

1Wednesday19:00Turn PEADbuy
3Friday19:00Turn Cbuy