Musings on opera in NC and beyond

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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With the Opera Ball–A Midwinter Night’s Dream–fast approaching, I got to thinking about Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The 1968 production of Shakespeare’s play is set in an English boarding school–think Hogwarts minus musicians. It includes two queens: one Queen of the Fairies and one for the Amazons. It also has a tinker, tailor, weaver and a treble Moth. Helen Mirren (who just bleeds Oscars) played love-interest Hermia in the 1968 play production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Later, in the early ’80s, BBC did a television production of the play, and Mirren was promoted to playing the Queen of the Fairies. Lucky lady.

But let’s play opera trivia. Anyone remember who took Shakespeare’s play and turned it into an opera earlier in the 20th century??? Anyone??? Yup, it was Benjamin Britten, that British composer (go you Suffolk lad!), friend of Aaron Copland, and conscientious objector (yes they had them in WWII). Britten also wrote Peter Grimes, Turn of the Screw and Billy Budd, three other English operas.

I’d show you a picture of Britten, but I think pictures showing Mirren in 1968 and today are more interesting!

1968 Helen

Dame Helen

Dame Helen today


Written by Darla

January 7, 2010 at 6:59 am

Posted in Opera Ball

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