Commissioned by Glyndebourne Opera
Macbeth immediately conjures atmospheric, violent and supernatural images and sounds in the mind. This text, which is ingrained in our cultural fabric, felt like the ideal choice for the basis of an opera at this moment in my compositional life. I wanted to tell a story, this was key. I wanted that story to be larger than life, perhaps even un-imaginable for 'normal' human beings to take part in, hence the need for opera singers and an orchestra. I feel a deep affinity with Shakespeare's writing, which I have used previously in my work Vanity for Glyndebourne in 2013. Shakespeare's words immediately suggested a music to me, and this text in particular provided a narrative that allowed my music to go darker and more sensual than ever before. Together with librettist and director Ted Huffman, we crafted, out of Shakespeare's play, our own version of the tale that could take place as an uninterrupted performance of 75 minutes, with a small orchestra and an all male cast.