Opera Scotland

Fairy Queen The Fairy Queen

Music

Henry Purcell (born London c1659; died London, 21 November 1695).

Text

Anonymous.

Source

Play A Midsummer Night's Dream (1596) by William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

 

Premières

First Performance: London (Dorset Garden Theatre), May 1692.

First Performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (George Square Theatre), 16 February 1972.

Scottish Opera première: N/A.

 

Background

The Fairy Queen was the grandest stage work produced by Purcell, using an anonymous adaptation of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, with substantial sequences of appropriate music and dance to close out each of the acts with a Masque, reminiscent of Jacobean court theatre.

These sequences (with singing roles) are as follows:

Act 1: Masque of Fairies and Poets (with sundry Fairies and Drunken Poets)

Act 2: Masque of the Night (with two Fairies attending on Titania, and characters of Night, Mystery, Secresy and Sleep)

Act 3: Masque of Love (with various masquers including Corydon and Mopsa)

Act 4: Masque of Phoebus and the Seasons (with Oberon's attendant, Phoebus, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter)

Act 6: Masque of Juno and Hymen (with Juno, Phoebus, two Attendant Spirits and Hymen)

 

Plot Summary

The play follows an edited version of Shakespeare's play.

The Cast

Attendant
 on Oberon
Autumn
 
Coridon
 
Drunken Poets
 
Fairies
 
First Attendant Spirit
 
First Fairy
 attendant on Titania
Hymen
 
Juno
 
Masquers
 
Mopsa
 
Mystery
 
Night
 
Phoebus
 
Second Attendant Spirit
 
Second Fairy
 attendant on Titania
Secresy
 
Sleep
 
Spring
 
Summer
 
Winter
 

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