at the festival
A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Mendelssohn’s incidental music.
Experiencing Felix Mendelssohn’s dedicated music for Shakespeare’s play was a rare and delightful treat to begin our festival experiences. Jonathan Elsom, in the guise of William Shakespeare and wearing the same costume he wore as Chorus in Henry V [which opened the James Hay Theatre rather more years back than we care to remember], masterfully linked the scenes in Elric Hooper’s cleverly abridged version of the Dream. The actors adeptly conjured a world of love — true and mistaken, thwarted and requited — on sweep of bare stage beneath projected swathes of forest and a great silver moon.
NZSO plays Debussy Prelude a LApres Midi d’un Faune, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2, & Shostakovich Symphony No 10.
First experience of a Shostakovich symphony live — powerful stuff of huge contrasts excellently performed with Mark Wigglesworth conducting. Alexander Melnikov wove again the magic of a great romantic concerto for the piano in the way i wrote of in an earlier post this year.
Once and for all we’re gonna tell you who we are so shut up and listen.
Very now, often loud [very loud], exuberantly young [adolescent], certainly different, and assuredly entertaining, contemporary theatre. And actually more show than tell — and so much more telling. Makes you kind of relieved not to have adolescent children of one’s own. This wildly energtic, messy and cleverly repetitively-structured piece from Belgium was great fun.