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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Anna Netrebko Finds A New Voice As Lady Macbeth

Soprano Anna Netrebko has been aiming toward this moment for years. On Saturday, October 11, the Met’s popular “Live in HD” cinecast series opens with Netrebko singing Lady Macbeth in Giuseppe Verdi’s adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy. 

Netrebko, 43, first sang Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata” in 2003, and has added more and more of the Italian composer’s output to her repertoire since then, culminating in a showcase album, “Verdi,” released last year, and now the role of Lady Macbeth. Her debut in the role is being met with rave reviews, brushing aside any criticism that the superstar’s voice isn't suited for more dramatic fare.

“I started to prepare this role about two years ago,” Netrebko said on a recent call from New York. “This role needs a completely different vocal technique. I found this low register that has been there…I just never used it!”

After the bloodiness of the first three acts, the role’s pivotal scene comes in Act IV. “Una macchia è qui tuttora! / Yet here's a spot,” finds Lady Macbeth in a kind of somnambular state, furiously raving about the deaths of Duncan and Banco. “Lots of people think she’s crazy,” Netrebko said. “I don’t think so. She’s just restless in her mind and body because she can never find peace…and she’s very angry at that point. About everything in life.”

Dramatically, Netrebko said the role came naturally, which surprised even her. 

“Actually, I’m a sweet person [compared to Lady Macbeth],” Netrebko said, laughing. “But somehow I didn’t even need to act. The Lady was there from the beginning.”

“Macbeth” screens “Live in HD” from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York on October 11 with an encore broadcast on October 15. In San Antonio, the Santikos Rialto, Cinemark McCreeless, and Regal’s Cielo Vista and Huebner Oaks will all offer the in-theater live event. More details are available at Fathom Events’ website or on the Metropolitan Opera’s website.

In the audio link above, hear the full-length interview with Anna Netrebko; below, a preview of the Met's production of "Macbeth."

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.