main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

main menu


A Midsummer Night's Dream

Music by Benjamin Britten • Libretto by Britten & Peter Pears

Adapted from William Shakespeare

University Opera Theatre • University Philharmonia Orchestra

Sung in English with projected surtitles

March 23-26, 2017Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre



Adopted from one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, the opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream conjures a mystical experience where love, obsession, and mythical creatures collide. On the eve of a royal wedding, four as yet unmatched young lovers escape to the wood to pursue their passions. Unbeknownst to them, the King and the Queen of the Fairies are having their own lover’s spat in this magical wilderness. The foursome is unsuspectingly caught in the middle, as magical potions delivered by the quicksilver spirit Puck further complicate and confuse the paths of love. And though the course of true love never does run smooth, in the end all is mended as the moon smiles down on order restored and love everlasting.

Composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), in collaboration with his partner Peter Pears, cleverly pruned Shakespeare’s masterpiece to create one of the most frequently performed operas written after WWII. Britten interweaves three distinct soundscapes for each realm of the Dream: the lovers, fairies, and the rustics. This skillful orchestration gives amazing timbres, emotion, and texture to Shakespeare’s words. By turns delicate, rambunctious, and rapturous, the music of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads us on a bewitching and magical journey through love’s fire.


Artistic Staff


Director Robert Swedberg
Conductor Kathleen Kelly
Scenic Designer Gary Decker
Costume Designer Michayla Van Treeck
Lighting Designer Rob Murphy
Stage Manager Devon Sparks


main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower