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Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Bejun Mehta, Kate Royal, Iride Martinez, Matthew Rose

Album Summary

>Britten, Benjamin : A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 64
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Britten operas have an association with Glyndebourne that stems back to the 1940's. In 1946 Glyndebourne staged the premiere of The Rape of Lucretia with Ferrier and the following year premiered Herring. 34 years of the Glyndebourne Festival elapsed before another Britten opera was staged. In 1981, Glyndebourne staged A Midsummer Night's Dream, in an acclaimed staging by Hall which has enjoyed 4 revivals since and has frequently been described by critics and press alike as the "perfect realization of a fairy tale". Britten cleverly employs disparate musical styles and devices to depict the interaction of the fairy kingdom, the quartet of lovers, the Mechanicals and town tradesmen determined to make it in show-biz.

"Ilan Volkov’s lushly romantic conducting of Britten’s inventive score is exhilaratingly hot-blooded, but occasionally his enthusiasm runs away with him, leaving some of the singers overwhelmed. Bejun Mehta makes a commanding Oberon and Matthew Rose an endearing Bottom" -The Daily Telegraph

"Musically, it's fabulous, too. Mehta - his voice unearthly, sensual and hinting throughout at deep depravity beneath the surface beauty - gives one of the greatest performances you will ever hear. His Tytania, Iride Martinez, is more earthbound - happier, perhaps, at performing "the tongs and the bones" with Matthew Rose's young, virile Bottom, than plying us with her melismatic fairy incantations. Britten's inspiration dipped when it came to the human lovers, making individual characterisation difficult, though Kate Royal is a touching, if stroppy Helena, and Jared Holt a handsome Demetrius. Ilan Volkov's conducting is also exceptional, drawing us into the opera's world with those narcotic opening glissandi and holding us enthralled throughout." -The Guardian

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, England (07/2006/08/2006).


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Works Details

>Britten, Benjamin : A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 64
  • Conductor: Ilan Volkov
  • Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1960