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With this opera, Verdi composed a true music drama. For this great early opera, he demanded from his librettist Francesco Maria Piave a text that would have"extravagance, originality brevity and sublimity." Thomas Hampson made a triumphant debut in the title role of Verdi's Macbeth in this Zurich Opera production, with Paoletta Marrocu as his beautiful, power-hungry wife. In David Pountney's hard-edged, post-modern production duality of man and woman is constantly brought into question. His Macbeth is not just a story about the usurpation of a crown with supernatural intervention, it resonates with symbolic references to the battle of the sexes and throws into sharp relief the link between power and gender. A strong supporting cast draws a top quality performance from the Zurich Opera Orchestra.