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In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Michelle Pfeiffer, the Beatles, and Donald Duck...

Apr 29, 2011 7:16:00 AM
By BLO Staff

John Conklin has pulled together quite a selection of
striking clips from the Web, all with a different spin on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Enjoy!

In various versions of MIDSUMMER this group is call “the
rustics”, “the mechanicals”, the “workmen”, the “clowns”… and now the “ Beatles.”
  
A luscious vision of the Britten opera set in a mythical India with Bollywood overtones. From Opera Australia, directed and lusciously designed by
Baz Luhrman (of “R + J” and MOULIN ROUGE) and his wife Catherine Martin.
  
And now instead of the Beatles we get Donald Duck and his
crew wreaking havoc in Athens.
From Peter Hall’s 1968 film with a 23-year old Helen Mirren
as Hermia, and Diana Rigg as Helena.
David Warner is Lysander and Ian Holm is Puck.
Everyone grew up to become major stage and film actors...
and for those old enough to remember the 1960s TV drama THE AVENGERS, Diana
Rigg went on to create the inimitable Emma Peel.
 And from the same 1968 film, a (somewhat green) Judi Dench as Tytania.  
A ballet by John Neumeier for the Hamburg Ballet in 1977. It
uses the familiar Mendelssohn score, but the spirit kingdom sequences employ music
from the contemporary  Hungarian composer
György Ligeti. Narration in this clip is in German, but there is much to listen
to and see.
A silent Shakespeare (!) gives an interesting feel for
theatrical style at the turn of the century.
A trailer for the 1999 movie with Michelle Pfeiffer as Tytania,
Calista Flockhart as Helena, Stanlety Tucci as Puck, Christian Bale as Demetrius
and, most notably, Kevin Klein as a totally unique Bottom. 
Beatles, ducks, mice…and now children.
The Balanchine ballet…as recently performed by Boston Ballet.
The Max Reinhardt film from 1935—Hollywood
extravagance merges with an equally wild German baroque-expressionistic
aesthetic…add Mickey Rooney (age 15) as a manic Puck and rather snarly  James Cagney as Bottom, and you have a
totally fascinating event. We’ll talk more about this Dream in a later blog
entry.

Topics: A Midsummer Night's Dream, John Conklin, Videos

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