By combining Shakespeare’s classic »A Midsummer Night’s Dream« (around 1600) and Antonio Vivaldi’s violin concerto series »The Four Seasons« (1725), Semperoper Ballett’s mixed bill »Ein Sommernachtstraum / A Midsummer Night’s Dream« (2018), presents two repertoire classics that mainly deal with essential feelings of (human) entities as well as their surroundings: in addition to Frederick Ashton’s 1960s ballet adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, accompanied by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s re-arranged incidental music (1826/1843), David Dawson’s contemporary choreography »The Four Seasons« (2018), inspired by Max Richter’s re-composition of Vivaldi's music (2012), takes on these intriguing themes too.
Oberon and Titania, the royal couple ruling over the realm of fairies and elves, are arguing about the changeling boy, whom Titania likes a lot – well, too much, at least according to her husband. In order to cheat his wife, Oberon sends his elf Puck through the forest to pick up a magical flower. Having dropped its extract in the eyes of sleeping ones, makes them fall in love with the first living entity they encounter when waking up. Waiting for Puck accomplishing his task, Oberon observes Lysander and Hermia, two merry lovers strolling through the forest. They are accompanied by their two unhappy friends Helena and Demetrius. This depends on the fact that Helena's love for Demetrius remains unrequited for the time being, because the only woman he adores is Hermia.
After Puck’s return, the Fairy King instructs him to make Demetrius fall in love with Helena with the help of the nectar of the flower. In the meantime, Oberon himself drops some of the potion into sleeping Titania’s eyes and arranges her to be awakened by coarse craftsman Bottom, who is also out in the forest. As if this was not enough, teasing Puck witches a donkey's head on Bottom’s neck in addition to this, to increase the Fairy Queen's disgrace even more.
When Titania awakes, her husband's plan comes true. Oberon’s clumsy helper, however, causes even more confusion. For having mistaken the two mortal men, Puck dropped the love liquid into the wrong one’s eyes, so that Lysander suddenly falls in love with Helena. With the help of a magical mist, the Fairy King finally restores order: Titania reconciles with Oberon, and the human lovers are happily united. Bottom, however, continues on his way in dream-like memories of that strange midsummer night.
»The Four Seasons«
For the twelfth time, in 2018 British choreographer David Dawson collaborated with Semperoper Ballett in order to create »The Four Seasons«. Inspired by Antonio Vivaldi’s (1725) violin concert series »Le quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons)« , recomposed in 2012 by Max Richter under the title »The Four Seasons«, and the poems written by contemporary American poet Nayyirah Waheed, Mr Dawson created an abstract ballet for 16 dancers that features the cycle of human life between the elements and layers of life as well as nature. Based on Max Richter's composition, Semperoper Ballett’s Associate Choreographer features this series as a metaphor for the sprouting, blossoming, withering and finally the decay of life in 13 scenes and framed by four geometric set pieces - before the course of the seasons and of existence begins anew.