Tag Archives: Dominic Hill

NEWS: CITIZENS THEATRE’S DOMINIC HILL DIRECTS NEW PRODUCTION OF A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM BY BENJAMIN BRITTEN

A new production of Benjamin Britten’s atmospheric A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of Citizens Theatre, opens with three performances at Festival Theatre Edinburgh on 31 March, before transferring to Theatre Royal Glasgow for a further three performances.

Dominic, who last directed Macbeth for Scottish Opera in 2014, returns to the Company to bring his Shakespearean expertise in the telling of this tale of four lovers lost in the woods, fairies, magic and comedy, in an otherworldly mix of imagination and reality.

Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford conducts a dynamic cast that includes former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist, Jennifer France, widely praised for her performances in the Company’s recent productions of Ariadne auf Naxos, Flight and Anthropocene, and David Shipley (Rigoletto 2018), a recent graduate of the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. They are both making their role debuts alongside countertenor Morten Grove Frandsen, a winner of Denmark’s Reumert Talent prize. Also in the cast is Scottish tenor and broadcaster, Jamie MacDougall (Ariadne auf Naxos 2018); former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Michel de Souza (The Cunning Little Vixen 2011); William Morgan (The Magic Flute 2019); Dingle Yandell (Tosca 2019); Victoria Simmonds (Flight 2018) and two Emerging Artists, Charlie Drummond (Iris 2019) and Mark Nathan (Opera Highlights 2019). They are joined by a children’s chorus.

Set in a post-war world, designs for the production are by Tom Piper, famed for the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London.

Audiences also have the chance to see a new work from Scottish Opera Composer in Residence, Samuel Bordoli, entitled Hermia’s Nightmare. Conducted by Timothy Burke, it explores Shakespeare’s text from A Midsummer Night’s Dream that Britten did not set. It will be performed in the theatre foyers before each show at 6.30pm.

Director Dominic Hill said: ‘I am thrilled to be working again with Scottish Opera. Britten’s opera has such a beguiling score and Shakespeare’s text is one of my favourite of his plays. I can’t wait to explore how Britten brings new depth and meaning to Shakespeare’s play to create an exploration of the joys and pains of love – something that hopefully will be magical, funny and moving.’

Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford added: ‘From the glistening glissandi of the strings to the pungent aroma of the solo trombone, it is easy to understand why A Midsummer Night’s Dream is viewed as a masterclass in orchestration and economy of gesture. With such minimal material, Britten can summon the mystery of the forest, effortlessly transition into the magic realm of Oberon and then collapse into the bustle and organised chaos of the amateur players. All of the vocal writing is exquisitely crafted, and it is true to say that the score is held dear by all those who have the fortune to bring this life affirming comedy to the stage.’

Those who wish to discover more about how the production was created can attend A Midsummer Night’s Dream Unwrapped, one-hour tasters delving further into the show, as well as Pre-show Talks. Audience members with a visual impairment can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, which have a live commentary describing the action on stage without compromising the music.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is supported by Scottish Opera’s Alexander Gibson Circle.

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream cast list

Oberon                                                                        Morten Grove Frandsen

Tytania                                                                        Jennifer France & Sofia Troncoso (23 Apr)

Hippolyta                                                                     Victoria Simmonds

Theseus                                                                      Trevor Eliot Bowes

Lysander                                                                     Anthony Gregory

Demetrius                                                                   Michel de Souza

Hermia                                                                        Clare Presland

Helena                                                                         Charlie Drummond*

Bottom                                                                         David Shipley

Quince                                                                         John Molloy

Flute                                                                             William Morgan

Snug                                                                            Dingle Yandell

Snout                                                                           Jamie MacDougall

Starveling                                                                      Mark Nathan*

* Scottish Opera Emerging Artist 2019/20

Festival Theatre, 13–29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9FT

Tue 31 Mar, 7.15pm

Thu 2 Apr, 7.15pm

Sat 4 Apr, 7.15pm

(Hermia’s Nightmare performed at 6.30pm before each performance in Millburn Gallery, Foyer 2)

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Unwrapped

Wed 1 Apr, 6pm

A Midsummer Night’s Pre-show Talk

Sat 4 Apr, 6pm

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Touch Tour

Sat 4 Apr, 6pm

A Midsummer Night’s Audio-described performance

Sat 4 Apr, 7.15pm

 

 

Theatre Royal Glasgow, 282 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 3QA

Tue 21 Apr, 7.15pm

Thu 23 Apr, 7.15pm

Sat 25 Apr, 7.15pm

(Hermia’s Nightmare performed at 6.30pm before each performance in Theatre Royal foyer)

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Unwrapped

Wed 22 Apr, 6pm

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Pre-show Talk

Sat 25 Apr, 6pm

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Touch Tour

Sat 25 Apr, 6pm

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Audio-described performance

Sat 25 Apr, 7.15pm

REVIEW: The Choir – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

An Iraqi cardiac specialist, a teen on a zero hours contract at Sports Direct, a Tory ex-councillor, an unemployed graduate, an ex-con and a struggling single mum are among the 12 people who come together in a community centre in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, in Paul Higgins and Ricky Ross’ new musical The Choir, a collaboration between theatrical giants ATG and the Citizens Theatre to nurture new musical theatre from local writers and composers.

There’s no competition, no race to a prize. Instead, the drama comes from the interactions between this disparate chorus. The seemingly uplifting subject matter is initially turned on its head when instead of the sense of community and togetherness they hope to invoke by their shared love of singing, the sociological and political differences between the group rear their ugly heads. Those who exercise free will provoke those with conventional sensibilities and seemingly simple things offend and outrage. 

the choir citizens theatre

It all gets off to a spine-tingling start as Peter Polycarpou’s Khalid steps centre stage to sing the first of a series of intensely personal songs and the cast as a whole doesn’t disappoint. Glorious sounding en masse, there isn’t a weak link among them and, while it seems churlish to single any out, it is undoubtedly Ryan Fletcher as ex-con Donny and Scott Reid as little cousin Scott, who shine. Fletcher, in particular, is a stand-out, in possession of a glorious voice and a prodigious musical talent, it is for him you root for a happy ending.

the choir 2 citizens theatre

Eschewing the musical theatre convention of bursting into song at will, here the songs arise naturally and realistically from the narrative and are entirely pleasing to the ear, partly due to the seeming familiarity of some of the melodies, with shades of Oasis, The Beach Boys and The Beatles to name a few.

If criticism is to be made it’s that the characterisations are thin in some cases and points are hammered home at times with little subtlety, but the actors’ deft touches manage to imbue it all with real heart and soul and you can’t help caring for them all and willing the whole thing to a happy conclusion.

It’s not exactly groundbreaking (it has at times the same feel and tone as Glen Hansard’s Once), but it has to be applauded for bringing something new to the musical theatre stage, not a film or novel adaptation, not a jukebox musical, instead an original story and songs with entirely relatable subject matter.

As an evening’s entertainment, it may not be perfect but it comes pretty damn close – on the whole it is a thoroughly engaging and utterly irresistible evening’s theatre. The Choir is guaranteed to send you into the crisp autumn air with the cockles of your heart well and truly warmed.

Runs until 14 November 2015 | Image: James Glossop

This review was originally published at: http://www.thereviewshub.com/the-choir-citizens-theatre-glasgow/