Ballet

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Frederick Ashton / David Dawson

The best of both worlds – Two highlights oft he repertoire are brought to stage: the one-act »The Dream«, danced with graceful ease, humorous and at times reminiscent of the romantic ballet tradition, and its counterpart »The Four...

Ballet evening in two parts
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy based on »A Midsummer Night’s Dream« by William Shakespeare / Music by Antonio Vivaldi’s »The Four Seasons«, newly composed by Max Richter

Premiere
10. March 2018

Dates & Cast

12
Thu
October 2023
7 pm
Event is in the past
7 pm – 9.20 pm
after 60 minutes
Venue
Semperoper Dresden
Free introductory talk
held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

Generously supported by the Semperoper Foundation

15
Sun
October 2023
7 pm
Event is in the past
7 pm – 9.20 pm
after 60 minutes
Venue
Semperoper Dresden
Free introductory talk
held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

Generously supported by the Semperoper Foundation

19
Thu
October 2023
7 pm
Event is in the past
7 pm – 9.20 pm
after 60 minutes
Venue
Semperoper Dresden
Free introductory talk
held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

Generously supported by the Semperoper Foundation

22
Sun
October 2023
2 pm
Event is in the past
2 pm – 4.20 pm
after 60 minutes
Venue
Semperoper Dresden
Free introductory talk
held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up
Family Introductions
Free introductory talk for children and families 45 minutes before curtain-up in the opera cellar, duration around 20 minutes

Generously supported by the Semperoper Foundation

22
Sun
October 2023
7 pm
Event is in the past
7 pm – 9.20 pm
after 60 minutes
Venue
Semperoper Dresden
Free introductory talk
held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

Generously supported by the Semperoper Foundation

25
Wed
October 2023
7 pm
Event is in the past
7 pm – 9.20 pm
after 60 minutes
Venue
Semperoper Dresden
Free introductory talk
held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

Generously supported by the Semperoper Foundation

28
Sat
October 2023
7 pm
Event is in the past
7 pm – 9.20 pm
after 60 minutes
Venue
Semperoper Dresden
Free introductory talk
held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

Generously supported by the Semperoper Foundation

30
Mon
October 2023
7 pm
Event is in the past
7 pm – 9.20 pm
after 60 minutes
Venue
Semperoper Dresden
Free introductory talk
held in the Semper Opera House cellar 45 minutes before curtain-up

Generously supported by the Semperoper Foundation

In brief

The best of both worlds – Two highlights oft he repertoire are brought to stage: the one-act »The Dream«, danced with graceful ease, humorous and at times reminiscent of the romantic ballet tradition, and its counterpart »The Four Seasons«, a contemporary reading of neoclassical ballet, touching and rich with connotations. Both choreographers – Frederick Ashton in his adaptation of Shakespeare’s »A Midsummer Night’s Dream« and David Dawson with his interpretation of Vivaldi’s »Four Seasons« – have created timeless dance pieces. The Staatskapelle Dresden and the Semperoper Ballett work together congenially, bringing Oberon, Titania and Puck to the stage with great humor and then transforming Max Richter’s new composition of Vivaldi’s »Four Seasons« (2012) into flowing movement.

Storyline

»The Dream«
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.