Commissioned for the Bergen Festival in Norway

  • Mezzo soprano/pf
  • 9 min

Programme Note

The Scena Lady Macbeth for mezzo-soprano and piano was commissioned for a special Shakespeare Evening at the Bergen Festival, Norway, on 24 April 1970. I constructed the Scena by selecting three scenes in which Lady Macbeth’s speeches would portray the development of the character from early aspirations to grandeur, to later power and finally to guilt and madness. The scenes are taken from Acts 1, 2 and 5, forming a miniature operatic role. The dramatic implication is that the Scena begins after Lady Macbeth has read her husband’s report of his military victory at the start of Shakespeare’s play.

Joseph Horovitz