'Midsummer Night's Dream' at Wolf Trap

August 12, 2010|By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

Wolf Trap Opera's final production of the season arrives at just the right time: Benjamin Britten's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a brilliantly crafted work from 1960 based on the Shakespeare play.

Stage director Patrick Diamond's concept, based on his own experiences, "takes the idea of midsummer and dream literally," he says. "It's mostly about the idea of how we go outside during the summer and lose track of time, how the sun goes down, and it doesn't really register. That's the kind of world I feel these characters are in."

The opera has been given a contemporary look; Erhard Rom's scenic design includes fiber optics.

The cast features members of Wolf Trap Opera's highly competitive program for emerging artists, which over four decades has generated a stream of alumni who have gone on to perform at major venues around this country and beyond. Countertenor Ryan Belongie sings the role of Oberon opposite soprano Ashlyn Rust as Titania. Alexander Strain has the speaking role of Puck.

Performances of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are at 8 p.m. Friday and Tuesday, 3 p.m. Sunday at the Barns at Wolf Trap,1645 Trap Road, Vienna, Va. For ticket availability, call 877-965-3872 or go to wolftrapopera.org.

Wolf Trap Opera also offers the interactive event "Behind the Curtain" at 10 a.m. Aug. 16, geared to families with children ages 5 to 13. Participants will watch makeup and costume teams transform the "Midsummer" cast members into opera characters; take backstage tours; and spend some time onstage under the lights.

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