Saturday, November 22, 2008

Midsummer Night's Dream

So, Benjamin Britten's opera was just lovely - completely weird, faithful to Shakespeare's play in spirit and words. The music was really sweet, the singing was glorious, and the whole production was nicely imaginative, without being abstract. My favourite bits were Pyramus and Thisby's love scene, Puck's beautiful dancing (and Horace Oliver's beautiful body of course!), Flavio Oliver's counter-tenor voice (which you can hear at this link), Bottom (Gerard O'Connor)'s hilarious braying, and the arias for the love triangle (or square, rather?) between Helena, Demetrius, Hermia and Lysander. I found that the little fairies were not as strong as could have been. Of course, the scenes with the dozen or so children are really sweet, but their voices didnt' carry that well.

If you would like to see most of the opera, in a production by the NorthWestern University, check out these 2 clips on YouTube. It's not as good as the Opera Ireland production, but it's nice to be able to see and listen to a long clip (unfortunately I can't find the 3rd and final act):

Clip 1

Clip 2

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