Cambridge Festival of Ideas presents...

    A Dream within a Dream: Purcell's Fairy Queen Re-Imagined
    By Henry Purcell

    20:00, Fri 2nd November 2012 at West Road Concert Hall
    Michaelmas Week 4

    Purcell’s opera, “The Fairy Queen”, is based on William Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream”. However, the original spoken text that links the musical episodes together no longer exists, leaving a fragmentary selection of arias sung by drunken poets, frustrated lovers, and mischievous fairies. Taking the incomplete nature of Purcell’s “Dream” as a starting point, this production plans to put on a “Fairy Queen” like you’ve never seen before: William Shakespeare is struggling with writer's block, and after resorting to the bottle out of desperation, falls asleep over his desk. The dreams that follow will provoke an unmissable night of reverie and revelry, interweaving Purcell's original music (accompanied by a live orchestra) with extracts from several of Shakespeare’s plays, the poetry of T.S Elliot and Edgar Allen Poe, and even the writing of Sigmund Freud.

    The same team that brought you “Orpheus and Eurydice” in Clare College Chapel in April is looking for a talented performance troupe of 8 singers – 2 soprano, 2 alto, 2 tenor, 2 bass (1 to play the role of William Shakespeare throughout), who are all guaranteed prominent solo roles, as well as sustained stage presence in additional chorus roles. Arias will be cast following auditions, and singers will inhabit multiple roles. Singers will ideally return to Cambridge in September having learnt their parts over the summer, and rehearsals will begin as soon as term starts for the performance in Week 5. There may also be the possibility for additional performances in Michaelmas in more alternative venues…


    William Shakespeare
    Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mab
    Fairy Leader
    Langston and Writing Spirit
    Mopsa and Summer
    Spring and Mercutio
    J. Alfred Prufrock
    Offstage Chorus
    Corydon, Romeo, and Poe


    Production Team

    Musical Director
    Assistant Director
    Projection Design –
    Costume Design – ,
    Lighting Design –
    Publicity Design –
    Stage Manager
    Sound Technician –
    Production Photography – ,