How forgetful of me! I neglected to mention that I attended the final performance of the UCSC music department’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Benjamin Britten. Now I’ll admit I’m not a great Britten fan; much of his music just leaves me cold. So I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the opera, but it was my student’s, Sara Hancock, last performance, I’ve enjoyed past productions the school has put on, and I love the Shakespeare play. All good reasons to go.

Well … it was wonderful! The staging, by Brian Staufenbiel, was quite imaginative and worked well. The singers did an excellent job. Really excellent. Both their singing and their acting was impressive. The orchestra, conducted by Nicole Paiement, sounded great, and of COURSE Sara was super! I was so glad I went.

And, to top it off, I actually enjoyed Britten’s music. Go figure! I want to hear it again, to see if it was just the combination of staging, good playing and singing, and my loving this school, or if the work really is better than I expected. Guess I’ll have to get some dollars together and buy a copy eventually … but that’ll have to wait, considering my income this summer. (Still no new work. Sigh.)

Next year we are doing The Magic Flute … I’m looking forward to it already!


  1. I have come to love Britten’s operas. It took some time, but I finally came around. Have you played The Rape of Lucretia? My favorite Britten pieces are Noyes’s Fludde, Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, and The War Requiem, which I was lucky enough to perform in its southeastern premiere in 1966 (not sure about the exact date).

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    I’ve only played Albert Herring and Turn of the Screw, and both were done quite some time ago. I’m not sure if Opera San Jose will do another … they seem to go over poorly with our audience. Sigh.