Review "A Midsummer Night's Dream": Britten's Mystical Tones of Terrestrial Shakespearean Comedy

Britten adds tonal mysticism to terrestrial Shakespearean comedy

 

A Midsummer's Night Dream - Lyric Opera 11

      
The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents
   
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
     
Composed by Benjamin Britten

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Libretto by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears
Ardis Krainik Theatre, 20 N. Wacker (map)
through Nov. 32  |  tickets: $43-$204  |  more info

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

Fairies clash, couples quarrel, actors fight, the forest is a hotbed for ‘tragical mirth.’ The fates of happy endings rest in the hands of one nymph and he better not puck it up!  Lyric Opera of Chicago presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an English opera composed by Benjamin Britten based on the Shakespearean comedy. A Midsummer Night’s Dream crashes three worlds together. In the shadow land, the king and queen of the fairies are fighting over a newly acquired child-servant. In the A Midsummer's Night Dream - Lyric Opera 10mortal realm, a runaway bride flees with her lover. She is chased by her lawfully-intended groom, who is being stalked by the bride’s best friend. On the theatrical stage, an acting troupe disputes over roles in rehearsals. It’s become one disenchanted forest. To cast a spell on the woods’ inhabitants, the king has an underling push a little herb. Puck gets all the parties stoned. It turns into a swingers’ love fest where one guy ends up quite the ass. Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the Shakespearean mystical comedy played out with a hazy melody.

 

Check out the rest of the review at Chicago Theatre Blog.

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