A midsummer’s night approaches

March 22, 2018

UT’s opera ensemble will perform with pure magic Benjamin Britten’s opera of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For those who love the play, Britten’s libretto brings a new musical element to the already wonderful world of Shakespeare.



The chamber orchestra will be led by UT’s director of orchestral studies Matthew Forte. Denise Ritter Bernardini is the producer and assistant director of the opera. 


“This one of the most difficult opera scores,” said William Floss, a UT student performing as one of the Rustics. “Some of us weren’t sure we could pull it off. Dr. Forte has led us valiantly through this score and has done an amazing job conducting and holding all the music together. Dr. Bernardini has also led us very well.”


Floss said Bernardini has taken on multiple roles of directing, producing, choregraphing, costume design and pulling together the set for the performances. He also said Wayne Anthony, the rehearsal pianist and vocal coach, has worked with the cast to coach them on the language and Shakespearean context. 


“This opera is musically completely different from what you might expect opera to sound like,” said Meridian Prall, a UT student playing Hermia. “The show is based on the Shakespeare play, and so people will hopefully be at least a little bit familiar with the story, but the way the music is written, you get a sense of how the atmosphere feels, rather than what recognizable tunes sound like.”


Floss agreed with Prall, also saying that the storyline contains many ups and downs.


“The show is crazy and beautiful,” Floss said. “It will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions.”


As one of the Rustics, Floss said he hopes to bring fun humor to the stage.


“Personally, I’m ecstatic about getting to perform this repertoire,” Floss said.


Performances are from March 23 to 25 in UT’s Doermann Theater. For ticket prices and showtimes, visit the Department of Theatre’s website.

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