William Shakespeare’s comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is considered to be his “first undoubted masterwork, without flaw, and one of his dozen or so plays of overwhelming originality and power.”
January 6: Dennis Huston, professor of English at Rice University, will discuss in depth the play which includes some of Shakespeare’s most engaging characters.
January 15: Colin Ure, dramaturg of the Houston Grand Opera, will examine the creative process behind Benjamin Britten’s opera and describe the transformation of play to modern operatic stage.
January 20: Participants will attend a working dress rehearsal, the penultimate practice before the opera premieres at the Wortham Theater. Following the rehearsal, we will be invited for an exclusive onstage and backstage tour of the set, designed especially for this HGO production.
January 27: Dennis Huston will conclude our study of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a look at writer-director Michael Hoffman’s 1999 adaptation of the play to film with veteran Shakespeare actors Kevin Kline, Rupert Everett, and Calista Flockhart. Professor Huston will enhance our understanding of what happens to great plays when they are effectively adapted to film.
J. Dennis Huston is professor of English at Rice University and author of Shakespeare’s Comedies of Play and co-editor of a collection of Renaissance plays. His teaching has received national recognition.
Scottish-born Colin Ure studied singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. Following graduation he studied in Aldeburgh with the tenor Peter Pears, the life-long partner of Benjamin Britten. Prior to his appointment as Houston Grand Opera’s dramaturg in 2006, Mr. Ure was a classical singer and artist manager with several classical agencies in the United Kingdom.
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