One charming night…
Taking us from rowdiest, raunchiest comedy to bewitching beauty and pathos, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen is a theatrical fantasy unlike any other. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream finds itself at the centre of a sequence of musical apparitions and conjurings – fairies romp and play, animals dance and mortals are manipulated by the gods. Through it all, love and desire weave their irresistible spell.
Purcell’s score brings everything from English choral writing to Italian laments and French dances together in a rich musical tapestry. There’s comedy from lusty shepherds and tenderness from separated lovers – a musical story that winds around Shakespeare’s play and characters to create an exhilarating fusion of theatre, music and dance.
Jonathan Kent’s ‘delectable’ production opens up a 17th-century cabinet of curiosities to reveal the contemporary magic within, working with conductor William Christie and a cast including Lucy Crowe, Carolyn Sampson and Ed Lyon to find the anarchic energy at the heart of this unusual work.
Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Festival 2009.