Sian Edwards conducts Royal Academy Opera

Abstract image of a donkey

Sian Edwards conductor

Christopher Luscombe director

Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream

‘The seasons alter ... And this same progeny of evils comes from our debate, from our dissension.’

A Midsummer Night’s Dream imagines a world in crisis – the universe turned upside down by forces beyond our control. When Benjamin Britten fashioned his opera from Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy, he caught this sense of existential despair with characteristic subtlety and an unforgettable soundworld. Yet he found inspiration, too, in the intoxicating power of young love and in the hilarious amateur theatricals that are also at the heart of this extraordinary work.

Britten’s most popular opera, written in a burst of creative energy in the summer of 1960, is an endlessly fascinating kaleidoscope of colours and moods. It is perhaps the reconciliation and harmony that emerge in place of the expected apocalypse that will be particularly welcome in our own troubled times.