Benjamin Britten’s musical transformation of Shakespeare’s most loved comedy is something of a miracle: apart from a single short sentence, every word is that of England’s finest poet; every fibre and comic nuance of the play is preserved.
And while a lesser composer might have merely adorned a masterpiece, he created a new one of his own: with its graceful haunting melodies, iridescent orchestration, headily perfumed harmony, and filigree-like vocal textures - there’s nothing in the repertoire like it.
Inspired singing and hilarity... a triumph!
Chicago Classical Review
Neil Armfield’s special affinity with Britten’s operas has been lauded worldwide. “Definitive” and “staggering” was the UK and US critical consensus for his multi-award-winning Billy Budd and audiences lucky enough to have experienced his Peter Grimes and TheTurn of the Screw rate them just as highly. Despite its proudly Australian creative team, this missing piece of the puzzle has been seen abroad but never at home.
Magical, otherworldly and playful, it bears all the hallmarks of his exceptional craft: drawing subtle and truthful comedic performances, letting his fairies rip as real kids and, in the finale, delivering a belly laugh-inducing riot.
We’ve endured a year like no other. Seize the chance to laugh and gasp with other human beings. Enter this blissful bubble and surrender to the trusted experts: Shakespeare, Britten and Armfield.
A fantastical soundworld that envelopes you in its glittering magic
Event additional information
A co-production of Houston Grand Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and Canadian Opera Company, presented by Adelaide Festival in association with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Composer Benjamin Britten Libretto Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears after Shakespeare
Directed by Neil Armfield Set and Costume Design Dale Ferguson Choreography/Associate Director Denni Sayers Lighting Damien Cooper
The Fairies Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as Oberon Rachelle Durkin as Tytania
Mark Coles Smith as Puck
The Lovers Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Theseus Fiona Campbell as Hyppolita Andrew Goodwin as Lysander Taryn Fiebig as Hermia James Clayton as Demetrius Leanne Kenneally as Helena
The Mechanicals Warwick Fyfe as Bottom Kanen Breen as Flute Douglas McNicol as Quince Jud Arthur as Snug Norbert Hohl as Snout Pelham Andrews as Starveling
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Conductor Daniel Carter Associate Conductor Brett Weymark
Young Adelaide Voices Director Christie Anderson
The presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been made possible by the Adelaide Festival Chairman’s Circle, the Adelaide Festival Opera Donor Circle (Leading Patron Maureen Wheeler AO) and MM Electrical.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is operating under the Adelaide Festival Centre’s approved COVID Management plan. The safety of our audiences, ARTISTS AND STAFF is paramount.
Due to COVID-19, things will be a little different at the Adelaide Festival Centre. Please read the information below or visit the Adelaide Festival Centre FAQ page before your visit.
Seating Please note that theatres will be operating at 50% capacity, with a single empty seat between each patron in a row. Patrons must sit in their allocated seats as directed by venue management, and may not sit in the vacant seat next to another patron. In the event that capacity restrictions are lifted by SA Health before the event, there may be another ticket holder in the seat next to you.
Contact Tracing The standard contact information that you give when you purchase your tickets will be passed onto SA Health in the event that contact tracing needs to occur.
Arrival at the Theatre Please plan to arrive 30 minutes before the performance and have your tickets/booking confirmation ready to show security who will allow access into the theatre. There may be a queue outside, so dress appropriately and allow enough time to get to your seats. The performance will begin on time. Once you enter the theatre, you will be directed straight into the auditorium.
Hand Hygiene Hand sanitiser is available onsite but to avoid congestion and queuing, we recommend you bring your own as well.
Cloaking and Bags in the theatre To avoid close contact and touching, cloaking is available for emergencies only. Please do not bring bags larger than A3 or backpacks as they will not be admitted into the theatre.
Interval To avoid congestion in the foyer, we ask you to stay at your seat during interval unless you need to use the facilities.
Always remember to:
Stay home if unwell (view our updated ticketing policy here)
Abide by physical distancing requirements
Follow the directions of COVID Marshals at events.
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