Opera Scotland

Midsummer Night's Dream 2020Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Midsummer Night's Dream

The effects of Coronavirus

It was sadly inevitable that the handful of performances of this new staging, would fall a victim to the burgeoning threat of the Coronavirus pandemic that swept the world during the first quarter of the year.   It was made clear on Monday, 16 March that all meeting places of any significance - pubs, restaurants, concert halls, theatres and opera houses - would be closed for a significant duration. Not only was the Dream cancelled, but also the subsequent productions of The Gondoliers and Utopia Limited. The concert performances of Cavalleria rusticana and Zingari are also likely to bite the dust.  It is hoped that they will all be revived when the theatres reopen, with luck sooner rather than later.

The original schedule of six performances, all at 19.15, was: Tuesday 31/03, Thursday 02/04, Saturday 04/04 at Edinburgh Festival Theatre; and Tuesday 21/04, Thursday 23/04, Saturday 25/04 at Glasgow Theatre Royal.


Britten's operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's wonderful comedy has had one previous staging by Scottish Opera.  That was launched in 1972 and was performed frequently over the next few years, also being taken on several foreign tours.  It was directed by Toby Robertson, who was known in Scotland as a leading interpreter of Shakespeare plays with the touring Prospect Theatre Company. This new production has also been entrusted to a leading theatre director who has plenty of experience with the classics. Currently director of the Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow, Dominic Hill previously ran the Traverse in Edinburgh, and before that Dundee Rep. With Scottish Opera he has already had success directing Macbeth and Falstaff.

The cast announced so far is highly promising, with Jennifer France as Tytania. Recent RCS graduates Charlie Drummond and Michel de Souza appear as Helena and Demetrius. The eerily composed part of Oberon will be sung by an unfamiliar Danish counter-tenor, Morten Grove Frandsen. Stuart Stratford conducts.


Scottish Opera's 2019/20 Season

The season opened at the Edinburgh International Festival with the European premiere of Breaking the Waves by Missy Mazzoli. The autumn performances got under way with a visit to the Lammermuir Festival on 20 September with a single performance in concert of an unusual double bill - Mascagni's Zanetto and Wolf-Ferrari's Susanna's Secret. The Glasgow season opens with a welcome revival of Tosca. There is a Sunday afternoon concert of Iris, another rare work by Mascagni. In the New Year there are new productions of Nixon in China by John Adams as well as Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream. and Sullivan's Gondoliers. Further concerts include a pairing of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana with Leoncavallo's Zingari. There are also concert performances of a late Sullivan piece, Utopia, Limited, as well as the usual Opera Highlights tour of the Highlands and Islands. 

Performance Cast

Tytania Queen of the Fairies

Jennifer France

Sofia Troncoso

Oberon King of the Fairies

Morten Grove Frandsen

Lysander in love with Hermia

Anthony Gregory

Hermia in love with Lysander

Clare Presland

Demetrius in love with Hermia

Michel de Souza

Helena in love with Demetrius

Charlie Drummond

Snug a joiner

Dingle Yandell

Francis Flute a bellows-mender

William Morgan

Robin Starveling a tailor

Mark Nathan

Tom Snout a tinker

Jamie MacDougall

Nick Bottom a weaver

David Shipley

Theseus Duke of Athens

Trevor Eliot Bowes

Hippolyta Queen of the Amazons

Victoria Simmonds

Performance DatesMidsummer Night's Dream 2020

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