Kentucky Opera is getting ready to begin work on Verdi’s MACBETH, the Brown Forman 2015/16 Season opener that premieres in September. This week, we caught up with the director of our production, Keturah Stickann, to learn more about her vision for the performance, and her relationship with the piece.
Because Ms. Stickann has not directed MACBETH before, she’s bringing fresh eyes to a very established and venerated production. “I’m excited,” she says, “because this is my favorite Shakespearean play, and I love all the implications of it. I appreciate how much the libretto of the opera has tried to stay true to the poetry and language of the original, and I’m excited to work on this in my medium [of opera].”
One of the most rewarding things about the process has been conceiving new interpretations of old constructs just for Kentucky Opera, which includes some exciting visual elements that the audience will love. “We’re including projections of original Shakespeare text into the show,” says Ms. Stickann. “This brings out the darkness of the work through his original language. I worked with the production team to choose which excerpts would make it into these projections.”
Because the principal singer/actors have performed this setting of MACBETH before, Ms. Stickann is interested to see what they bring to the production, and what their feedback will be. “I wonder if there will be aspects of the production they want to dive into more, or elements that they are married to from previous production and direction,” she says.
But she wants our audiences to know that she’s approaching this production with all the vigor and imagination that one would expect from a new opera. This is not a re-creation of another company’s production of MACBETH, but a fresh and new vision. Stripping away the extraneous frippery until all that’s left is the power and movement of the words and music. “This production is aesthetically very clean,” says Ms. Stickann. “The juxtaposition of this minimalist and abstract setting against the mayhem of the characters is very striking. We play off these opposing effects as much as possible.”
We can’t wait to see Ms. Stickann’s vision come to life on opening night, September 18. To learn more about Keturah Stickann, click HERE. For guaranteed tickets, access to exclusive events, offers, and more, subscribe to Kentucky Opera by clicking HERE.