Henry Purcell - The Fairy Queen (2001) [DVD9 PAL]
* Actors: Yvonne Kenny, Thomas Randle, Richard Van Allan, Arthur Pita, English Nat'l Opera Orch And Chorus
Audio: PCM Streo
* Format: Classical, PAL, Widescreen
* Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Subtitles: German, French, Spanish
* Number of discs: 1
* Classification: Exempt
* Studio: ARTHAUS
* DVD Release Date: 25 May 2001
* Run Time: 134 minutes
David Pountney and Quinny Sacks' production of Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen caused something of a sensation when it hit the ENO stage in 1995. It has the feel of a decadent 17th-century masque re-invented with late-20th-century energy: half the principals and chorus are in cross-dressing costumes, female characters are played by men (leading to some rather wonderful polymorphous perversity), and everything has an air of mad, hallucinogenic hipness about it. While Robert Israel's wild sets don't appear to their full advantage on the small screen, Dunya Ramicova's costumes look fantastic (the details are simply stunning). The very fine singing is recorded with excellent clarity: while this is obviously a live performance, there are remarkably few moments that go out of microphone range, and the balance with the orchestra is handled very sensitively. The ENO band, under the baton of Nicholas Kok, respond to Purcell's wiry lines and spiky harmonies with glee, and sound like they're having a ball, as do the singers. In particular Jonathan Best as The Drunken Poet is hilarious, and it is a wonderful testament to his acting skills that he is as funny close-up as he was from the auditorium stalls.--Warwick Thompson
Purcell Opera The Fairy Queen - Wikimedia Commons
The Fairy Queen, an English opera by Henry Purcell based on Shakespeare's Play: opera plot synopsis, character description, and other Purcell opera information.
Henry Purcell (c. 1659 ñ November 21, 1695) composed The Fairy Queen, a five-act English masque or semi-opera. Libretto was written by an anonymous author, based on "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare. It was premiered in London, Queen's Theatre, Dorset Gardens, May 2, 1692. The setting is a palace in Athens, Greece, and nearby forest in legendary times.
Notable aria:"One charming night"(Secrecy)
In this masque or semi-opera The Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell, he focuses on Oberon's wife, Titania, eliminating some of the popular scenes from the play by Shakespeare. The main actors carry the story with the spoken dialogue of Shakespeare. Purcell extends enchanting but unrelated musical pieces to the bard's play, and makes the opera more entertaining and enjoyable. Purcell's score was lost (or neglected) for almost two centuries before its rediscovery in the early 1900s.
Plot Summary / Synopsis of Purcell's The Fairy Queen
Palace of the Duke of Athens
Hermia's father, Egeus, demands his daughter marry Demetrius even though she loves Lysander, who also loves her. In the forest, a group of Titania's fairies torment a three drunken poets.
Titania and Oberon fight. Titania was entertained by the fairies and asks a lullaby. Oberon sprinkles a love portion over her eyes. The fairies - Night, Mystery, Secrecy and Sleep - sing Titania airs until she sleeps.
Oberon sends Puck in search of a magic love-inducing flower. As Oberon watches, Puck accidentally makes both Lysander and Demetrius fall in love with Helena. Titania falls in love with Bottom. Meantime, Coridon the shepherd pleads with Mopsa, who refuses his advances.
A Garden of Fountains
Oberon orders Puck to fix his mistake with the Athenian lovers. Titania and Bottom wake up from their mistaken spells. In the musical scene, the fairies present the four seasons.
A Forest (Scene 1) and A Chinese Garden (Scene 2)
The two pairs marry, Hermia and Lysander, and Demetrius and Helena. There is much entertainment given by Oberon at the Chinese Garden of Eden.
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