I like Britten's music, though his style may be one that either you love, grows on you overtime(admittedly this was the case with me) or you don't care for it. A Midsummer Night's Dream is not my favourite Britten, I do prefer Peter Grimes, Billy Budd and Albert Herring and Let's Make an Opera is probably his most accessible(especially from a younger perspective), but the story while confusing at first is timeless and the music sparkles. This Peter Hall-directed production is very entertaining. The set design is wonderfully magical and eerie, and the costumes especially the mystical ones for the fairies are sumptuous. The video directing is focused on the comedy and drama and never feels bland. The music is really wonderful, and performed stylishly and beautifully by the orchestra and conducted with precision by Bernard Haitink. The staging also works very well with the highlight being the joy that is the Pyramus and Tisbe drama spoofing Bel Canto and hilariously. The singing is wonderful, the standouts I agree being the sexy and refined Tytania of Ileana Cotrubas and the wonderfully tricky Bottom of Curt Appelgren. Felicity Lott, Cynthia Buchan, Ryland Davies and Dale Duesing also give good turns. James Bowman's Oberon is tall and commanding, but while pleasant his counter-tenor(which Britten deliberately chose for dramatic contrast) voice has been more powerful before. However though, I was very entertained watching this Midsummer Night's Dream. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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