Macbeth (Bloch)

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Macbeth is an opera in three acts, with music by Ernest Bloch to a libretto by Edmond Fleg, after the eponymous play of William Shakespeare. Bloch composed the opera between 1904 and 1906, but it did not receive its first performance until November 30, 1910 by the Opéra-Comique Paris. Alex Cohen has written of quarrels within the cast that contributed to the opera's poorly received premiere. After the premiere, the opera was performed 15 times through January 1911, but then was withdrawn. Cohen, Alex, "Ernest Bloch's Macbeth" (April 1938). Music & Letters, 19 (2): pp. 143-148. Romain Rolland had studied the score and communicated his admiration to Bloch in June 1911.

Guido Gatti has compared elements of Bloch's opera to the music of Modest Mussorgsky. He has also written of the different treatments of the Macbeth story by Giuseppe Verdi and Bloch in their respective operas on the subject, with Verdi being more "realistic" and Bloch being more in keeping with the symbolist era in art at his time.

After the premiere production, the opera was staged in 1938 in Naples, but was then banned on orders of the Fascist government. Subsequently, the opera was produced in Rome in 1953, and in Trieste.Chapman, Ernest, "Ernest Bloch at 75" (Spring 1955). Tempo (New Ser.), 35: pp. 6-9, 11-12. Portions of the opera have been recorded...
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