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The Fairy Queen
Jonathan Kent’s spectacular production of Purcell’s huge semi-opera is joyous, imaginative and witty.
Glyndebourne, with its intimate auditorium, provides the perfect setting for a drama which is partly spoken and partly sung. Based on an adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the story is lavished with a brilliance that justifies this production’s acclaim.
Paul Brown’s inventive designs, Kim Brandstrup’s exquisite choreography, an excellent cast of actors and singers and outstanding playing by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under William Christie combine to make a seamless theatrical experience,
What the Jury liked:
It was Opera, theatre and dance all together —with the best of quality. William Christie is as good as ever.
The sheer inventiveness throughout the entire show was outstanding and so was the quality of the singers and costumes.
I liked everything, although did find the second part a bit drawn out.
I adored the bonking rabbits.
All the actors, singers and comedians and particularly the music were outstanding as well as all the visual jokes.
A remarkable blend of different arts: music, singing, dancing and acting. Making it a very complete show.
What the Jury liked less:
25% of the jury had no negative comments to make. Several Jury members did however say that they felt it was too long. One or two of them even said “much too long”.
The above comment can be levelled at a great many early operas. It is perhaps important to remember that when they were written entertainment was not nearly so readily available as it is today. Audiences were also invariably doing other things while the show was going on, eating and drinking, wandering in and out, etc. Which is why there is so often a lot of repetition, to make sure no one has missed anything.
Singing / performance: B+
HDVD production: B
Overall ranking: B+
As usual, in addition to the Jury ratings we also conducted a survey into whether Jury members want to see this production again, would buy or recommend the disc and how they feel it compares with “being there”.
Here are the main findings for “The Fairy Queen”.
"Would you like to see this production again, on TV or in the cinema?"
75% answered "Significantly better, rather better or comparable.