The Fairy-Queen

More info on The Fairy-Queen

Composer:

Henry Purcell

Librettist:

anon., after the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare

Premiere:

May 1692, London (Dorset Garden Theatre)

Language:

English

Synopsis:

The Fairy-Queen Synopsis

Libretto:

The Fairy-Queen Libretto

Translation(s):

Not entered yet.

About the opera The Fairy-Queen

The Fairy-Queen (1692; Purcell catalogue number Z.629) is a masque or semi-opera by Henry Purcell; a "Restoration spectacular". The libretto is an anonymous adaptation of William Shakespeare's wedding comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. First performed in 1692, The Fairy-Queen was composed three years before Purcell's death at the age of 35. Following his death, the score was lost and only rediscovered early in the twentieth century.
Purcell did not set any of Shakespeare's text to music; instead he composed music for short masques in every act but the first. The play itself was also slightly modernised in keeping with seventeenth-century dramatic conventions, but in the main the spoken text is as Shakespeare wrote it. The masques are related to the play metaphorically, rather than literally. Many critics have stated erroneously that they bear no relationship to the play, but recent scholarship has shown that the opera, which ends with a masque featuring Hymen, the God of Marriage, was actually composed for the fifteenth wedding anniversary of William and Mary.
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Roles in The Fairy-Queen

Drunken Poet Bass
First Fairy Soprano
Second Fairy Soprano
Night Soprano
Mystery Soprano
Secrecy CounterTenor
Sleep Bass
Corydon Bass

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