Amsterdam loses its Lady Macbeth

Amsterdam loses its Lady Macbeth


norman lebrecht

April 01, 2015

Nadja Michael has pulled out of Verdi’s opera, opening on Friday, with a Dutch bug.

It’s her first cancellation in three years and she has posted a picture of herself with medications, hoping to take over by the third night, next week.

Nadja was herself a late replacement in the cast for Tatjana Serjan.

nadja michael flu

Meantime, Amarilli Nizza sang the dress rehearsal and will presumably cover opening night.

Scott Hendricks sings Macbeth, Andrea Breth directs.



  • Jan de Jong says:

    She is replaced by Amarilli Nizza who did the role before in Leipzig and Dresden.

  • Olivier Keegel says:

    From a victim:


    Macbeth at the Dutch National Opera. Director: Andrea Breth. Smoking on stage? Check! Wheelchair? Check! Kalashnikovs? Check! In other words, good old-fashioned Regietrash!

    Andrea Berth has managed to stage the most sheepish Macbeth production of all times in Amsterdam. The audience was treated to a number of utterly stereotyped tableaux in which anything vaguely related to Verdi was expertly torpedoed. The only dramatic effect came from closing and opening the curtain 321 times, which reminded me of a puppet show. Ms. Berth alternately showed us a thicket of weeds and a teddy bear, jazzed up with a wheelchair (two appearances!) and various Kalashnikovs. Weeds-curtain-teddy bear-curtain-weeds-curtain-teddy bear-curtain-weeds…. etc. etc. For three long hours.

    According to the Dutch National Opera, Ms. Berth is one of Germany’s ‘most important’ directors. As an opera director, she is in my view the best argument against human cloning and for reintroducing Berufsverbote. Yes, indeed, Ms. Breth likes verbal puppetry too. That clearly emerged in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Het Parool. What it boiled down to, in her own words, was: ‘I give it a different twist.’ That sounds somehow familiar! Her personal twist consisted, among other things, of Macbeth not being a murderer but a warlord. (‘He is a warlord! But he is not a murderer!’) I would actually have preferred a new opera about Bernie Madoff: ‘He is not a criminal, he is a bank employee!’

    In said interview, she goes on to explain: ‘I also see it as my task to set people thinking.’ Setting people to think is unquestionably a Zeitbild to be cherished! Perhaps we’ll look back on this in 10 or 20 years with a mild chuckle, but more likely with a roaring guffaw. Though in my case, Ms. Berth actually did make me think. During the performance I primarily reflected a great deal on Ms. Berth and her disarming openness with which she spoke about her insecurities and fears. During the interview she also mentioned ‘The fear of presenting something that is inadequate. That used to happen occasionally in the past, when I was young.’

    When she was young…

    Used to happen occasionally…