Dec. 21: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The 2013-14 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 12:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, December 21 on KLRE Classical 90.5.
This broadcast is a recording of A Midsummer Night's Dream's season premiere performance from October 11. James Conlon leads his first Met performances of this opera, based on the Shakespeare play. The revival, commemorating the centennial of Britten’s birth, stars Kathleen Kim and Iestyn Davies as Tytania and Oberon, the sparring king and queen of the fairies. The four Athenian lovers are sung by Erin Wall as Helena, Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia, Joseph Kaiser as Lysander, and Michael Todd Simpson as Demetrius. The sextet of “rude mechanicals” whose amateur theater troupe becomes entangled with the other characters is led by Matthew Rose as the weaver Bottom. Actor Riley Costello plays the speaking role of the mischievous Puck. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 12:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, December 21.
James Conlon has conducted more than 250 Met performances in a wide-ranging repertory of 21 different operas, including the company premieres of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah and the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. He last conducted A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2012 at Rome Opera.
Soprano Kathleen Kim made her Met debut in 2007 as Barbarina in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. Last season, she sang Oscar in the new production premiere of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera. Her other roles with the company have included Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Chiang Ch’ing in the company premiere of John Adams’s Nixon in China, and Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann.
Soprano Erin Wall made her Met debut in 2009 as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She has sung Helena at La Scala and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Later this season, she returns to the Met in the title role in Strauss’s Arabella and sings Donna Anna with Vancouver Opera.
Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong sang the role of Hermia at the Met in a very different context in the 2011 world premiere of The Enchanted Island, a Baroque pastiche that combines characters and storylines from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest. She will repeat the role in The Enchanted Island’s first Met revival later this season and also make her company role debut as Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Countertenor Iestyn Davies made his Met debut in 2011 as Unulfo in Handel’s Rodelinda. He returned last season to sing the drunken jester Trinculo in the company premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest. His other recent credits include Oberon with Houston Grand Opera and Eustazio in Handel’s Rinaldo at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Tenor Joseph Kaiser most recently appeared at the Met as Grimoaldo in Rodelinda. He made his company debut in 2007 as Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. His other roles with the company have been Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Narraboth in Strauss's Salome, and Flamand in Strauss’s Capriccio.
Baritone Michael Todd Simpson made his Met debut as Hermann and Schlémil in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 2009, and has since appeared with the company as Lescaut in Massenet’s Manon, Moralès in Bizet's Carmen, a Flemish Deputy in Verdi’s Don Carlo, and Streshnev in Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina.
Bass Matthew Rose starred as Talbot in last season’s Met premiere performances of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda. He made his company debut in 2011 as Colline in Puccini's La Bohème. He has sung Bottom at La Scala and Houston Grand Opera.
Actor Riley Costello made his Met debut as Puck this season. His Broadway credits include Everyday Rapture and Bye Bye Birdie with Roundabout Theater Company and the musical 13.
The broadcast intermissions will include interviews with Kathleen Kim, Iestyn Davies and James Conlon.