Claxton Opera presents
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
by Benjamin Britten
Claxton Opera present a production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in the beautiful, secluded garden of Ashby St. Mary Hall, on 10th, 11th, 12th and 17th, 18th, 19th July 2014.
Is it a Flight of Fairies? or a Fancy of Fairies or even a Fun of Fairies? Certainly there will be a lot of them about in Ashby St. Mary Hall Gardens in July when Claxton Opera presents its last ever show under the direction of Richard White. Benjamin Britten’s opera ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’presents Tytania’s fairy band as naughty school children charged up with energy and a vigorous sense of the endless possibilities of life. Sung by members of The Junior Broadland Choir, they embody the magic world that somehow we mere humans sense but can never enter except perhaps through the medium of art.
Designer Norman Manners has created majestic and haunting scenery to compliment the magic of the garden in which the lovers, tradesmen, and Fairy King and Queen first lose themselves and then discover again their better, more generous loving natures. A lot of fun to be had for the audience with the hard-handed sons of toil attempting to put on an entertainment worthy of the wedding of their lord.
Benjamin Britten, whose centenary was so widely and joyously celebrated last year, takes Shakespeare’s delicious confection of human passion, fairy spite and pure high spirits and marinates them in a rich musical sauce. This delicious meal will be served up in Norman Manners’ dreamlike and monumental scenery which will create a bridge between reality, dream and enchantment.
A full orchestra plays some of Britten’s warmest and most lyrical music conducted by Geoff Davidson, The Junior Broadland Choir sprinkles the Fairy Dust, Richard White directs and our cast brings together Claxton Opera’s most accomplished soloists and a motley crew of crusty peasants to delight you. Who can resist it?!
Benjamin Britten set the music of his opera to a libretto adapted by himself and his partner, Peter Pears, from William Shakespeare’s play. It was premiered on 11 June 1960 at the Aldeburgh Festival, conducted by the composer and with set and costume designs by Carl Toms.
Our thanks go to Christopher and Anita Kemp, the owners of Ashby Hall, for their kind permission to stage this production in their magnificent garden. Ashby Hall is situated in the village of Ashby St. Mary just off the A146 between Norwich and Loddon – postcode: NR14 7BL.
Tickets are available from Prelude Records, 25B St Giles Street, Norwich. 01603 628319.
Prices £20 each (no concessions) or £50 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children 16 and under)