May 29, 2006
Opera A Midsummer Night's Dream opens
Benjamin Britten's Opera Finds New Setting
in Dali-esque Dreamscape
Each spring the UC Santa Cruz Music Department
presents a fully staged opera complete with theatrical sets,
professional costumes, top graduate and undergraduate singers
from the department, and the 40-piece UCSC Orchestra expertly
conducted by Professor Nicole
Jessamine Delancey as Tytania with Bottom (who has been transformed into an ass) played by Jesse Avshalomov and Aleksey Bogdanov.
Photo: Steve DiBartolomeo
This season vocal instructor Brian Staufenbiel
returns to direct Benjamin Britten's entrancing English language
opera A Midsummer Night's Dream (first performed in England
in 1960) with libretto by the composer and Peter Pears in an
adaptation of Shakespeare's famous play. The opera will be performed
in English with supertitles.
Staufenbiel and his expert design team have invented a postmodern
midsummer night's dreamscape in which strange fairies roam the
streets, and kings and queens rule a Dali-esque urban land.
The same design team that brought you Don Giovanni in
2005 and Street Scene in 2004 is back again with lighting design
by Sylvie Vray, scenic design by Legend Theatrical, costume
design by Marti Kranak, and wigs and make-up by Jeanna Hurd.
Noted Shakespeare scholar and UCSC professor emeritus of literature
Michael Warren will present a preconcert talk, titled "Britten
and A Midsummer Night's Dream," on June 4 before
the closing matinee. The Sunday talk begins at 12:45 p.m. in
the Recital Hall. Tickets are required.
A Midsummer Night's Dream plays Thursday, Friday, and
Saturday, June 1, 2, and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 4,
at 2 p.m. in the Music Center Recital Hall. Seating is reserved.
Tickets are available in advance at the UCSC Ticket Office:
(831) 459-2159, $18, $14 seniors, $10 students with ID.