Macbeth | Romeo & Julia Kören
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Based on the play by William Shakespeare

“…a small but sparkling jewel of a performance that proves equally enchanting for the eyes and the ears.”

On his way home from battle, Macbeth, one of King Duncan’s generals, meets with three witches who prophecies he will be granted awards and eventually be king himself.  Shortly after that is is awarded by the King and starts to believe in the prophecy. Machbeth is infested with greed for more power, and encouraged by his wife he murders Duncan and claims the throne as the new King. But guilt torments both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and drives them to madness and despair?

This musical drama initially evolved from working with Janequins’s epic piece La Guerre. The scenic images that hence spring forth suggested a grim story: a story soon recognized as  William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth (1606).

So the story is told once again, using fragments of Shakespeare’s original text and the suggestive music of Janequin and des Prez.

by Josquin Desprez (alphabetically)
Absalon fili mi
Agnus dei (from Missa Beata Virgine)
El grillo Guillaume se va chauffer
In te domine speravi
Je ris et si ay larme
Petite camusette
Vive le roy

by Clément Janequin
La Guerre – La battaglie de Marignon 1515


The Tragedy of Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometime between 1603-1607. The sources for the tragedy is Holinshed’s Chronicles (1587) though the Macbeth told there bears no relations to Shakespeare’s character since Holinshed’s account for him was as an admired and able monarch. In the backstage world of the theatre, the play is cursed and is often referred to as ”the Scottish play”.

A short history

When first performed by Romeo & Julia Kören the production was called ”1515 — The Battle of M” referring to the central musical piece in the production: La Guerre. This was not because the tragedy is supposedly cursed, but had more to do with the major re-arrangement and re-interpretation of the original text. The world famous director Ingmar Bergman visited one rehearsal and his reaction was: You’re doing Macbeth. Call it Macbeth. From thence the production is called Macbeth. Even though the original text is greatly reduced. The idea of the play within the play is of course inspired by Hamlet.

Shakespeare’s dialogue is in english and all songs in their original language.

Directed and adapted for Romeo & Julia Kören by Benoît Malmberg
Music by Clément Janequin and Joaquin des Prez
Costumes Barbro Hellsing and the costume department of the Royal Dramatic Theatre
Hair and makeup by the ensemble

“…something to be spellbound by.”

Press quotes

Macbeth is breathtakingly beautiful

(Barometern-OT, Kalmar Castle in Sweden)

Victor Hugo once said, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent”; this repeatedly holds true for this performance. The Swedes enrich the festival with a small but sparkling jewel of a performance that proves equally enchanting for the eyes and the ears.

(ngz-online-Shakespeare Festival Neuss)

And we, the audience, are left with a feeling of disappointment that it lasted for such a short amount of time.

(Makbet zabija piesn, Gdansk Shakespeare Festival)

…something to be spell- bound by. What a good idea! What a fascinating way to tell a story!

(Kulturnytt, The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm)

The audience receives such astonishing treatment of its favorite author’s oeuvre with enthusiasm. They applaud for several minutes, they stamp their feet, until, finally, this wooden copy of the Globe Theater is shaken to its very foundations.

(DERWESTEN, Shakespeare Festival in Neuss)

The precise singing, expression, and dynamics are just as convincing as the purely phy- sical dramatic achievements. The applause made the wooden Globe Theater tremble.

(fifty2go, Shakespeare Festival in Neuss)

It was an evening which will remain in the Festival chronicle as one more inspiring encounter of The Romeo & Juliet Choir of The Royal Dramatic Theatre of Stockholm,

(Glas Slavonije, Dubrovnik Summer Festival)

For rider and further information please contact Romeo & Julia Kören.