Shakespeare and Mendelssohn share the limelight when the New York Philharmonic presents a semi-staged adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream performed with Mendelssohn's complete incidental music. Sir Neville Marriner conducts, with direction by Edward Berkeley.
The presentation, the first in the New York Philharmonic Festival: Visions of the Beyond, stars Campbell Scott, Academy Award-winner Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis, Linda Emond, Reg Rogers, Lorenzo Pisoni, and Jeremy Shamos. The actors, who appear in multiple roles, are joined by soprano Susan Gritton, mezzo-soprano Patricia Risley, in her Philharmonic debut, and Women of the New York Choral Artists, Joseph Flummerfelt, director.
In Shakespeare's warmly comic tale, humans become puppets in the hands of the immortals, and are doomed to act out their whims and agendas. The plot is a complex farce that involves two sets of couples (Hermia and Lysander and Helena and Demetrius) whose romantic intrigues are confused and further complicated after they enter the enchanted forest where Oberon, the King of the Fairies, and his Queen, Titania, preside. Puck (or Robin Goodfellow), Oberon's jester, is full of mischief and tricks, while Bottom, the weaver, and his friends Snug, Snout, Quince, and Flute, want to rehearse their hilarious rendering of the play, Pyramus and Thisby.
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