• Henry Purcell
  • The Fairy Queen (ed. 1968 Lewis)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)


Lewis

  • 22000200timpstr
  • SATB
  • 8 Sopranos, Alto, 2 Countertenors, 3 Tenors, 5 Basses
  • 2 hr 8 min
  • Henry Purcell
  • Libretto (English) probably by Thomas Betteridge, after Shakespeare
  • English

Programme Note

BRIEF PROGRAMME NOTE

The plot follows the star-crossed lovers of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as they wander through the Forest of Arden amid hilarious confusion and misunderstandings – which also beset the quarrelling king and queen of the fairies. The action is punctuated by elaborate musical entertainments. In Act I a drunken poet blunders in, and is blindfolded and teased by mischievous fairies. At the end of Act II a series of allegorical figures lull the Fairy Queen, Titania, with a Masque of Sleep. The Act III masque conjures up love, in all its rich variety, for the diversion of Titania and her new paramour – Bottom in his ass’s head. In Act IV King Oberon’s birthday is celebrated with a sumptuous Masque of the Four Seasons. For the fantastical Masque of Hymen which concludes the final act, with all the characters now happily reconciled, the forest is spectacularly transformed into an exotic oriental garden.

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