100th birthday anniversary of Antonio Bibalo

The Norwegian composer of Italian origin Antonio Bibalo, born in Trieste on 18 January 1922 who died on 20 June 2008, became known worldwide for his church and orchestral music, but especially for his five major musico-dramatic works. Bibalo wrote a whole series of operas, but his best-known and most important is the opera “Macbeth” after Shakespeare, which premiered in Oslo in 1990 and for which he wrote the libretto - as usual - himself.

Shakespeare’s drama has been cleverly streamlined in this opera without changing the plot. The external plot of Antonio Bibalo’s “Macbeth”, particularly the political subplots and the counter-intrigue of the Duncan party, have been kept to the minimum necessary to understand the Macbeth story.

After the premiere, enthusiastic voices reached as far as the Wiener Zeitung, where the musico-dramatic Shakespearean adaptation was praised as a masterpiece of contemporary music theatre. “Macbeth” received its Swiss and German premiere in Berne on 10 December 1994. Bibalo himself wrote the libretto based on Shakespeare’s original but limited the plot most essentially to the protagonists Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. His music, uncompromising, direct and unmistakable, stages the gripping plot at a tonal level, as it were, seeking less for romantic exaggeration of emotions than expressionistic contrasting of tension-laden silence and excessive outbursts.

18.01.2022
Antonio Bibalo (18.01.1922 – 20.06.2008)
100th birthday

Antonio Bibalo
“Macbeth”. An opera in three acts (1989)
Lyricist: Claus Henneberg
2,3,3,3 - 4,3,3,1 - Percussion, 2 drums (including among others xylophone, vibraphone), harp, piano, strings, tape recorder

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