Macbeth in the Press

“An urgent, vocally solid, and dramatically splendid performance.”
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times – June, 2016
“The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis justly prides itself on its stellar chorus, and in both Shalimar and Macbeth, this ensemble of young aspiring soloists carried much of the musical weight. The company is also committed to performing operas in English, and here the translation of Macbeth, by Jeremy Sams, did much to advance its immediacy… Under the confident musical direction of Stephen Lord, the Macbeth cast turned in an urgent, vocally solid and dramatically splendid performance… Julie Makerov brought a searing intensity to the part of Lady Macbeth… the heated plangency of Matthew Plenk’s Macduff established him as a tenor of considerable promise.”

“A Macbeth of true international festival caliber.”
John Von Rhein, The Chicago Tribune – June, 2016
“Stephen Lord… draws robust, incisive playing from the orchestra in support of a solid cast and a lean and mean production by Lee Blakeley… The production is elemental in its starkness and simplicity, making resourceful use of the intimate thrust stage. Mark Bouman’s ancient-modern costumes are a symphony in black… The leading roles are splendidly taken by Roland Wood and Julie Makerov. The British baritone looks like a young Bryn Terfel and sings Macbeth like a young Sherrill Milnes, with a firm, burnished sound and absolute vocal acuity – a discovery indeed… Robert Pomakov’s sepulchral bass as Banquo capped a Macbeth of true international festival caliber.”

“Four stars… a royal event… superb.”
George Loomis, The Financial Times (London) – June, 2016
“Stephen Lord, OTSL’s outgoing music director, has long wanted to stage Verdi’s Macbeth, and his valedictory effort is a royal event, thanks to the cogency of his conducting and Lee Blakeley’s superb production, full of telling details… He gets to the work’s essence and enlists its operatic grandeur as a means of doing so.”

“In the brilliantly capable hands of music director Stephen Lord… the result is stellar.”
Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch – May, 2016
Macbeth… could easily be taken for a masterpiece in the powerful new production at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis… In the brilliantly capable hands of music director Stephen Lord… This Macbeth also benefits from a production team that’s fully invested in the opera and its setting… the result is stellar. OTSL put together a cast with the chops to handle Verdi’s big sing…”

“Proved once again they are a consistent model of excellence for all other opera choruses”
James Sohre, Opera Today – June, 2016
“In the title role, Roland Wood displayed a virile, responsive baritone housed in a Terfel-esque physical presence. Mr. Wood’s amplitude of power is wedded to an incisive delivery, and his total dramatic commitment is a wonder to behold… a Macbeth to be reckoned with. Julie Makerov’s Lady Macbeth has admirable steel, unfettered drive, and fearless grit… a potent vocal impression… an evening chockfull of fine choices and inventive staging… Under the masterful tutelage of Robert Ainsley, the combined forces of the… Gerdine Young Artists proved once again they are a consistent model of excellence for all other opera choruses.”

“True choral glory… some of the most beautifully dramatic staging I’ve seen in a long time.”
Steve Callahan, KDHX Radio – May, 2016
“…in this OTSL production the chorus does glorious work! …chorus master Robert Ainsley draws superb work from his choristers, both witches and Scots: perfect synchrony, wonderfully distinct and controlled dynamics and beautiful diction, and true choral glory at the end… Julie Makerov as Lady Macbeth [has] such power and drama in her voice! … It is some of the most beautifully dramatic staging I've seen in a long time… a production not to be missed.”

“Sweeping in its execution and thrilling in its grasp of Verdi’s lush and often surprising score.”
Mark Bretz, Ladue News – May, 2016
“Conductor Stephen Lord…  is at his inspired best leading a spirited performance by members of the Saint Louis Symphony... OTSL’s interpretation is sweeping in its execution and thrilling in its grasp of Verdi’s lush and often surprising score.”

“Big, bold… passionately sung by a superb cast of principals, with an outstanding ensemble whose wall of sound is sensational.”
Lynn Venhaus, The Belleville-News Democrat – June, 2016
“With its big, bold production of Macbeth, Opera Theatre aptly conveyed Shakespeare's epic tale of political power and paranoia. Guiseppe Verdi's melodic, smooth score is passionately sung by a superb cast of principals, with an outstanding ensemble whose wall of sound is sensational. Their crystal-clear harmonies and precise execution were masterful, one of the best choruses to date.”

“A welcome discovery for music lovers...”
Gerry Kowarsky, “Two on the Aisle” (HEC-TV) – June, 2016
“A welcome discovery for music lovers… It gives us some of the best-sounding Verdi we’ve heard in St. Louis thanks to the cast, the chorus under Robert Ainsley and the St. Louis Symphony under Stephen Lord… Lord draws performances from the musicians that are wonderfully responsive to the opera’s story, emotions, and themes… The shrewdness of Lee Blakeley’s stage direction was evidenced right from the start… the opening scene introduces a striking image… we can’t miss the magical implications each time the twigs appear.”

“A truly outstanding performance that shakes the OTSL audience to the rafters.”
Steve Allen, Stage Door St. Louis – June, 2016
“A powerful score by Giuseppe Verdi leads this brilliant production of “Macbeth” at Opera Theatre-St. Louis… it makes a big splash with strong voices, magnificent acting and an eerie presence… It’s a truly outstanding performance that shakes the OTSL audience to the rafters… a must see of the season.”