Opera McGill presents Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Jan. 29-31, Feb. 1)

Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014

Be transported to pre-World War I Raj India in this fanciful opera featuring magical costumes and sets and a live orchestra. The libretto is Shakespeare’s own, and the production will be surtitled in both the Shakespearean text and in the French translation by François-Victor Hugo. The production is double cast – the first will appear on Jan. 29 and 31 and the second cast will appear on Jan. 30 and Feb. 1. A behind-the-scenes look at the production can be seen here.

For this production, the McGill Symphony Orchestra will be led by American guest conductor Andrew Bisantz. Bisantz, a ‘Schulich 2014 Catherine Thornhill Steele Visiting Artist’ is an exciting young conductor known for his passionate and commanding conducting style. While in residency here at the school, he will in spend over 100 hours working with student performers individually in addition to his role as conductor. Bisantz brings a wealth of experience to the stage, having conducted productions throughout the United States and Europe.

Patrick Hansen, Director of Opera Studies at the Schulich School of Music is stage director while the dance and movement for this production will be choreographed the guest English choreographer Nicola Bowie. She both directs and choreographs regularly in the United States as well as at the English National Opera. As has been the longtime tradition at Opera McGill, well-loved collaborators Ginette Grenier, costumes, Serge Filiatrault, lighting and Vincent Lefèvre, sets, round out the team.

Britten’s spectacular opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream is at the core of Opera McGill’s ‘Year of Shakespeare’ an academic year devoted to operas based on Shakespearean works. This themed year, conceived as a way to immerse students in the rich drama of operatic treatments of Shakespeare, is a combined project integrating two Shakespearean specialists, Paul Yachnin, McGill’s Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare and Paul Hopkins, Artistic Director of Repercussion Theatre into the core teaching of opera at the school. A series of videos about the artistic training of young singers at the Schulich School of Music in all things Shakespearean can be found here.

A photo gallery of the production can be seen here.

Jan. 29-31, Feb. 1; 7:30 p.m. in Pollack Hall (555 Sherbrooke Street West). Tickets ($30 general admission, $25 for students and seniors) can be purchased at the Pollack Hall Box Office, weekdays from noon to 6 p.m. or one hour prior to each concert.  For box office information, please phone 514-398-4547. Tickets are also available by phone at 514-398-4547.

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