Te Kōkī, New Zealand School of Music produced a season of Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in August 2011. There were four performances held in the Memorial Theatre at Victoria University of Wellington, performed by vice and instrumental students from the Classical Performance programme at NZSM. This recording is from the Saturday performance. Please note that this recording is for NZSM archive, reference and assessment purposes only and is not to be downloaded, broadcast or published anywhere else.

Act One:
Enter the dream … a wood outside Athens drenched in moonlight, the perfect place to find faeries. But the faerie realm is in turmoil as its King and Queen vie for the possession of an Indian boy whom King Oberon would have to be his knight. He sends forth Puck in search of a magical herb to charm proud Queen Tytania into submission.
The mortal lovers, Hermia and Lysander flee to the woods in defiance of her father’s wishes and the law prescribing she marry another, Demetruis. Helena, Hermia’s best friend, leads Demetrius to the couple’s meeting place in hope of his love and thanks. His reaction is overseen by Oberon, who bids Puck to use some of the love juice of some the flowers he has found to teach Demetrius a lesson.
The members of ADD (Amateur Dramatic Dionysians) assemble in the wood and are allotted their parts in The Most Lamentable Comedy of Pyramus and Thisby. They hope to perform the play as part of the nuptial celebrations of the King of Athens and have but a few hours to memorise lines before the next rehearsal.
Having lost their way, Lysander and Hermia rest for the night. When Puck arrives he thinks he has found Demetrius, the ‘cruel Athenian’ and employs the love potion. But Lysander awakes to see Helena and gives hot pursuit. Tytania meanwhile calls on her faeries to sing her to sleep. Oberon seizes the opportunity to anoint her eyes with the nectar of the magical flower.

The production involved a large number of people: professionals, students, staff and colleagues. A full account, including the published programme in pdf form with cast and crew listings, can be found on the NZSM website under Archived Events at this url: http://www.nzsm.ac.nz/events/NZSM-Opera2011.aspx

The main roles included: Titania – Bridget Costello; Oberon – Bianca Andrew; Puck – Joe Baxter; Demetrius – Kieran Rayner; Lysander – Thomas Atkins; Hermia – Imogen Thirlwall; Helena – Bryony Williams; and Bottom – Thomas Barker. The opera was directed by Sara Brodie, and conducted by Michael Vinten with set and lighting design by Tony Rabbit and costuming by Diane Brodie. The voice tutors included Richard Greager, Lisa Harper-Brown, Margaret Medlyn and Jenny Wollerman and the repetiteur was Mark Dorrell.

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