A Midsummer Night’s Dream was Benjamin Britten’s seventh major opera and had its premiere in 1960. Britten and his partner Peter Pears adapted Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy, using (with the exception of only one line) Shakespeare’s own text, as well as cutting and simplifying the play. This newly commissioned opera guide has an essay which explores the unique process of the opera’s composition, including passages of recently published material from Britten’s own correspondence. Other essays examine the magical sound world that Britten created for this work, as well as documenting Britten’s own response to productions of the opera during his lifetime. A further essay assesses the place of the work in relation to the rest of Britten’s oeuvre.
(NB: This book is not a dual language/ parallel text book.)
Benjamin Britten (1913–76) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He showed prodigious talent from an early age and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born. He leapt to international fame with his opera Peter Grimes in 1945. This was followed by eight other major operas, including Billy Budd (1951), A Mid- summer’s Night Dream (1960) and Death in Venice (1973), as well as other orchestral, choral and chamber works, which established his reputation as one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.
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