Written for the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, and premiering on March 14 1847, MACBETH was Verdi's tenth opera and the first genuine masterpiece of his career. Adamant about creating an opera "unlike any other," it met with immediate success, though it struck Italian audiences as an oddity due to its lack of a great love affair as part of the plot. Seeking to do something musically different, Verdi wrote to librettist Francesco Piave, "If we cannot make it a masterpiece, let us at least do something out of the ordinary." The opera breaks many of the rules common in the framework of Italian opera, favoring a more fluid, cohesively unfolding music drama in, as Verdi later admitted, his own attempt at the Wagnerian "fusion of music and drama." Almost twenty years after the premiere, interest in a French version for a Paris premiere drove Verdi to revise and expand the opera. This version, with substantial changes and additions to the music and libretto both, premiered in Paris on April 19 1865, and the Italian translation of this remains the preferred version for modern performances, although often MacBeth's death scene from the first version replaces the revised last act. Truly a great opera, and a favorite of Verdi himself, the opera has not shared the success of the composer's other works, but this is not due to any deficiency in the music, which captivates the listener from the beginning to the end. Instrumentation: 1+Picc.2+EH.2+BCl.2: 4.2.3+BTbn.0: Timp.Perc(2): Hp: Str (22.214.171.124.3 in set): Onstage (Picc.PiccCl.3Cl.2Bsn.Ctrbsn.4Hn.4Tpt.Flglhn.3Tbn.2Tubas.SnDr): Off-stage (2Ob.6Cl.2Bsn.CBsn): Vocal soli (10 roles, SATTBBBBBB): Chorus.