Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dream Collector

Every fairy take his gait,
And each several chamber bless
Through this palace with sweet peace;
And the owner of it blessed
Ever shall in safety rest.
Trip away; make no stay.
Meet me all by break of day.

Some collect spoons, or recordings or teddy bears. I collect Dreams. Tonight I saw another production (this time by Soulpepper) of the play, and, as much as I treasure it, in the final scene as the fairies flit around the house, Benjamin Britten's operatic setting was haunting me. My favourite production of the opera maintained the elements I think are vital to make it work: the world of the three groupings of characters (Rustics, Nobles, Fairies) were well defined; there was no hamming; the fairy world was truly magical; Puck was played by a boy, but one who combined mystery and mischief.

That production was directed in 1981 by Peter Hall at Glyndebourne, and is available on DVD. Set in Elizabethan dress, the fairy world is all indigo blue and silver; the mortal world is all earth tones. Bernard Haitink conducted. I'm ordering it.


Tess Kincaid said...

I saw the 1935 movie version with Mickey Rooney as Puck on TCM a few months ago. It was a pretty big production for the time. Speaking of, I just watched Woody Allen's "Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" last week. I love when he's peddling that flying machine.

R.A.D. Stainforth said...

I was there ... you won't spot me on the DVD, I spent most of the time in the bar ... not my favourite work of Britten's ... give me Peter Grimes any day of the week ... I may send you something to cheer you up after the loss of ... you know ... love Haitink, hated this production (what I saw of it) ...

Blog Princess G said...

Tess: I saw that version too, directed by Max Rheinhardt (following a production live on stage at the Hollywood Bowl). I don't remember much, except finding Rooney a bit de trop. But the fairy sequences were stunning, and the black and white made it all the more magical.

Dr. S: I'm sorry you hated it as much as I loved it. Hope the bar was up to... par.

phil said...

A bit off topic but....There's a wonderful short story by Capote called 'Master Misery' about dream collection.

That's all I'll say.
Go read it, G. :)

Blog Princess G said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Phil!