Monday, 5 March 2012

Semi-skimmed semi-opera

The first production of The Fairy Queen was staged at the Dorset Garden Theatre in London and was one of the biggest Restoration spectaculars of the time. Eyewitness accounts describe a fountain which shot a jet of water four metres into the air and dragons which formed a bridge through which swans would pass and be transformed into fairies. Robert King explained that we would have to project our own wild flights of whimsy onto a backlit screen (seemingly on loan from a Silicon Valley product launch), but that his ensemble would take us back in time to Purcell’s unusual sound world.
You really would need time travel to avoid the conclusive scotching such claims have received. To read more about how Robert King’s HIP TARDIS didn’t quite bring the musick to the Theater an der Wien, click here.

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