Verdi's love affair with Shakespeare began with Macbeth, which he considered “one of the greatest human creations". He revered the Bard's works and this was the first opera he based on them. His aim was to turn his tragedy into “something out of the ordinary”. For Jaume Plensa, capturing Verdi and Shakespeare's Macbeth was a youthful dream so when Gerard Mortier asked him at Salzburg what opera he would like to direct, he did not hesitate. He has had to wait 25 years for the dream to come true.