The Dagger is a chamber opera in two acts based on Shakespeare's Macbeth. To facilitate its performance, I opted to minimize the cast. Achieving this necessitated significant condensation of the text while preserving the essence of the original plot. I eliminated entire characters and, through successive revisions, progressively reduced the text until any further reduction would compromise coherence. Ultimately, I renamed it "The Dagger", to differentiate it from Verdi's and Bloch's adaptations.
Duncan, King of Scotland, baritone (1) Performed by the same singers who play the roles of Lady Macbeth, Macduff and Lady Macduff. To do this, they must all wear masks that leave only the mouth visible.
Macbeth, General in the King’s Army, tenor
Lady Macbeth, soprano
Macduff, Nobleman of Scotland, tenor
Lady Macduff, mezzo-soprano
Three Witches (1)
Three Apparitions: an armed head, a bloody child and a crowned child (3)
(2) The same singer who plays Duncan, also wearing a mask.
(3) Dolls or projections; their parts are sung by the same singer who plays Duncan and Hecat.
At this time, 7 of the 9 scenes in Act I are finished. Act II has 7 scenes.