Staged opera by Henry Purcell with AEMF student singers, dancers, and orchestra. Drew Minter, director, Gary Thor Wedow, music director; Dorothy Olsson and Kaspar D. Mainz, dance directors; Ronnie Snader, costumes; and Lawrence Rosenwald, texts.
By 1692 the British masque or semi-opera had become the British answer to foreign operatic composition. The plot of Purcell's Fairy Queen is that of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Purcell wrote overtures, instrumental preludes, ritornellos, and musical numbers and choruses, to be performed during the play. The masques, or "Divertissements," were inserted at appropriate points in the dramatic action, and added to the spectacle of the theatrical presentation.