While I may not be an out-and-out opera buff, I am eternally grateful to Halifax Summer Opera Workshop for introducing me to the delights of some accessible works over the past few years. And as of now, their latest production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, has risen to the top of my “favourites” list.
The opera, written by Benjamin Britten, is pure magic. Britten’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Dream focuses primarily on the machinations within the fairy world, and his music seems intrinsically right for that world.
And while this is show filled with high points, but I’ll give you three just to whet your appetite: Oberon (played by Andrew Pickett) is delightfully perverse and his queen Tytania (Allison Nicholas) is sensuous and exotically beautiful. The pair, along with the fairy crew, close the show with the most haunting and lovely piece of music. Shilpa Sharma as Hermia and Ashley Buckhout as Helena bring down the house with their height-based cat fight. And the mechanicals… well what can I say except funny, funny, funny.
I’ve seen many productions of Dream, but I know this will always stand out for me.
There are two more chances to see this show (one with this cast, one with another) as well as opportunities to see HSOW's two other offerings Carmen and One Act Operas.
Check out http://halifaxsummeroperaworkshop.com/ for dates, times and prices.