A Midsummer Night’s Dream // Nevill Holt Opera 2019

by Benjamin Britten


conductor: Nicholas Chalmers

director: Anna Morrissey

lighting designer: D.M. Wodd


photographer: Ali Wright


★★★★  "Working with designer Simon Kenny, Morrissey conveys in silvery, moonstruck visuals the individuality of the three diverse worlds that collide in the Athenian forest, binding them all together in a staging that encompasses the humour, emotional complexity and occasionally sheer darkness of the piece, while somehow maintaining a crucial air of magic; the balancing of these elements is nigh-on perfect. An enchanted evening indeed." The Stage

★★★★  "A Dream that finds all its characters transported to the magical forest still in their pyjamas, day clothes roughly thrown over the top. A brass bedstead hangs suspended from the ceiling above Simon Kenny’s two-level set, and the cast begin and end curled up in sleep. A sweetly beguiling show, full of ideas and invention with a dream of a final theatrical gesture – opening up the back of the stage to reveal Nevill Holt’s exquisite, real-life garden paradise outside – this production pulls off its greatest trick, leading us full-circle and sending us out and away for another midsummer’s night adventure." The Arts Desk

★★★★ The Telegraph

“A lively modern-dress staging, with atmospheric, ingeniously simple sets by Simon Kenny. A terrific ensemble achievement." Sunday Times

★★★★  "The production is relatively lo-tech, but everything is presented so delightfully that it really generates a sense of wonder in nature. Simon Kenny’s set sees the stage framed on three sides by silver stringed curtains so that the fairies almost magically appear as they come through them. An upper tier then carries foliage and a huge moon while the fairies and other characters often appear among the various levels of the auditorium as well. However, it only takes a double door to open in the centre of what until then looked like an entirely flimsy wall of silver to create a very different feeling space for Theseus’ palace in Athens. The production remains strong to the end as a window at the back of the stage opens to reveal the real outdoors, thus emphasising this piece’s place within nature." MusicOHM