Drama and Characterization in Opera Settings of "A Midsummer Nightʼs Dream" by Britten and Siegmeister
Description: Although Shakespeare deliberately downplays characterization in his moonlit dream fantasy, both Britten and Siegmeister exploit this dramatic element as the basis of their opera settings of the play. Through the operas, the shallow characters take on new dimensions, creating musical experiences existing quite independently of Shakespeare, while at the same time retaining the atmosphere of a dream-fantasy. Placing emphases upon varying aspects of the play, the two composers create entirely different revelations from the Bard's dream. This paper presents a study of the way in which drama and characterization are treated in the operas, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Night of the Moonspell.
Date: August 1982
Creator: Allen, Debra K. (Debra Kaye)