Central City Opera Celebrates Benjamin Britten

We’re very excited to share the recently digitally-remastered clips from our 2002 production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Britten was born in 1913 and the “centenary” celebration of his works spans the 2012 and 2013 seasons of performing arts companies around the world.

Central City Opera has a rich tradition of producing the works of Benjamin Britten, which have a wide appeal for audiences. The composer himself is quoted as saying, “I write music for human beings.” Central City Opera presented the North American premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana in 2001, followed by this glorious production of Midsummer in 2002. Britten’s work has since been performed on the Central City Opera stage in 2005 with the regional premiere of Paul Bunyan and in 2008 with productions of The Rape of Lucretia and Curlew River (the latter performed by our apprentice artists). This summer, we’re proud to offer a new production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, opening July 14th.
To whet your Britten appetite, here are four video clips from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2002):

Clip 1 – From Act One

Clip 2 – Tytania and Bottom

Clip 3 – The Rustics Perform

Clip 4 – Finale

In Paul Curran’s Director’s Notes for the 2002 production he wrote:
I have been lucky enough to work on the DREAM with two of Britten’s own assistants: Steuart Bedford and Roderick Brydon. They have both made me look ever deeper into the music to see the piece more clearly. “If you can’t see why I wrote (the music) that way, then don’t conduct it” was Britten’s advice to the young Steuart Bedford. “Play it again, I can’t hear the colours. If there are no colours, there’s no opera,” another gentle encouragement. The colours of the opera and story are all in the orchestration; “every note counts, there is nowhere to hide in this score” – again, Britten to Bedford.
Steuart Bedford, mentioned above, conducted Central City Opera’s 2005 regional premiere of Paul Bunyan and will return this summer to conduct The Turn of the Screw. Bedford was featured in the July 2011 issue of Opera News as “a peerless interpreter of the operas of Benjamin Britten.” [The article is also available as a PDF.] Central City Opera presents The Turn of the Screw for the first time this summer with just six performances. Mark your calendar to join us on July 14, 18, 21, 29 or August 4 for this rare treat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *