Quirijn de Lang as Demetrius and Andrew Glover as Lysander
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Benjamin Britten's birth, Opera North is presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream in four cities. The sexy production stars Dutch barihunk Quirijn de Lang as Demetrius, who appears in various revealing outfits. The production is currently running at the Leeds Grand Theatre through October 24th. From November 6-8 is will be at The Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays, from November 12-15 it will be at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle and finally at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham from November 19-22. Tickets are available online. Britten's opera is set to a libretto adapted by the composer and his partner Peter Pears from William Shakespeare's play of the same name. It was premiered on 11 June 1960 at the Aldeburgh Festival.
Britten delineated the three tiers of characters, the rustics being given folk-like "simple" music, the lovers a more romantic sound-world and the fairies being represented in a very ethereal way. Almost all of the action now takes place in the woods around Athens, and the fairies inhabit a much more prominent place in the drama. The comic performance by the rustics of Pyramus and Thisbe at the final wedding takes on an added dimension as a parody of nineteenth century Italian opera. Thisbe's lament, accompanied by obbligato flute, is a parody of a Donizetti "mad scene".