A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, opera a cappella now available at Albany Records

Friday, August 29, 2008

Farewell to the NEA Opera Onsite Program

For the past several years, the opera program of the National Endowment for the Arts has had an evaluation program in which qualified reporters would go see an opera production, find out how a company works, and write up a report about it. These reports would be used by panels in Washington when making decisions on grant applications. Alas, this program is not being continued due to a lack of funds.

I probably have done over twenty of these reports over the years--everything from small companies to some of our largest. It has been a great education for me and I will miss the program.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another section from Midsummer Night's Dream

This important speech by Egeus, Hermia's father is what really makes the whole show happen.

Some of Egeus' speech has been left out, which is one of the choices you have to make--singing takes awhile and setting a whole play, verbatim, would create six or seven hours of music.

Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke,
This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child;
Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,
And interchanged love-tokens with my child:
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,
With feigning voice verses of feigning love,
And stolen the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart,
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke,
Be it so she; will not here before your grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Which shall be either to this gentleman
Or to her death, according to our law
Immediately provided in that case.