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Macbeth Underworld wins ‘Best World Premiere’ at the Oper! Awards

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Though our doors remain closed, silver linings can still be found even in these clouded times. It is with great joy that we can announce that our production of Macbeth Underworld won ‘Best World Premiere’ at this year’s Oper! Awards.

This La Monnaie commissioned world creation, which opened our 2019-20 season, grew from French composer Pascal Dusapin, and his librettist Frédéric Boyer’s idiosyncratic approach to the iconic Shakespeare play Macbeth.

The Oper! Awards are an initiative of the renowned German music magazine by the same name. An eight headed jury composed of music critics hands out no less than twenty awards to the best and brightest in the world of opera. This year, the jury named Macbeth Underworld as ‘Best World Premiere’: “In Brussels, Pascal Dusapin presented us with a surprise: his Shakespeare adaptation Macbeth Underworld at the Théâtre de la Monnaie. It was a short, intense night that director Thomas Jolly doused in darkness, set in a thicket of branches peppered with harsh white disco lights. It had chic, and a dash of musical irony by Jolly as much as Dusapin added zest to these Fearless Vampire Killers in the Scottish Highlands. Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth – the two wonderful full-blooded tragico-comedians Georg Nigl and Magdalena Kožená – shambled through the scene like murderous phantoms, as funnily grotesque as they were tragically burlesque. Just like Dusapin’s seemingly eclectic score, tenderly painted by Alain Altinoglu’s baton.”

It is the second time this year that a collaboration between Pascal Dusapin and La Monnaie takes the crown. Just a few weeks ago our recording of Penthesilea was named ‘Best contemporary album of the year 2020’ at the International Classical Music Awards. These accolades only serve to strengthen our core belief that opera is an art strongly rooted in the present, and that our role as opera house is to actively shape the canon through new creations and innovating projects.

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