Inter-Arts Collaboration of ‘Midsummer’ to Bring Four Arts Disciplines to Amp Stage

Two Pucks, eight lovers — no, you’re not seeing double.

At 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 16 in the Amphitheater, four of Chautauqua Institution’s art disciplines — Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Theater Company, the School of Music Voice Program and the School of Dance — will come together for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Inter-Arts Collaboration is co-directed by CTC Artistic Producer Sarah Elizabeth Wansley and Artistic Director Andrew Borba.

“We’re excited about (this collaboration) because it takes one of our masterworks, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and we all have these different contribution points to make it something that is not only well-known, but uniquely Chautauqua,” said Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president of performing and visual arts.

The CSO will be performing Felix Mendelssohn’s score to Midsummer, directed and conducted by Rossen Milanov; CTC, School of Dance and Voice Program will follow the lovers — Demetrius, Helena, Lysander and Hermia — and fairies’ storylines. 

The different organizations are weaving their work together to create one interdisciplinary performance with a few essential design gestures,” said Maggie Wilson, CTC marketing and communications director.

Mendelssohn’s composition is made up of 14 shorter numbers, including instrumental songs like the famous “Wedding March” and vocal songs like “The Spells,” “The Removal of the Spells” and “Ye spotted snakes.”

“It’s a really known work,”  said mezzo-soprano voice student Sarah Zieba. “ ‘The Wedding March’ in the last movement is really the most famous part of it, so I’m excited to hear the whole piece because I’ve never heard it live, and being part of that is really cool.”

Zieba and soprano Lydia Graham will each have a solo as elves in the fairy chorus, part of Oberon and Titania’s — the king of fairies and his queen — court.

Honestly, they haven’t really told us much about it, so we’ll see how it goes,” Zieba said.

Apprentice and Festival School of Dance students will perform as core fairies and lovers, weaving and interacting with the actors and vocalists. Additionally, Festival ballerino Jack Grohmann will dance as Puck, alongside CTC’s Kayla Kearney.

In some scenes, the actors will replace the dancers during poignant moments throughout the comedy, according to Sasha Janes, the School of Dance director of contemporary studies. Janes also hinted that some dancers will have minimal speaking parts and will be dancing to the actors’ unaccompanied monologues.

If you’re going and expecting to see a Shakespearean play verbatim, you’re not going to see that — you’re going to see something different,” Janes said.

In addition to tonight’s performance, Voice Program students will stage Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream opera at 7 p.m. tonight through Friday in McKnight Hall. CTC will be performing Jeff Whitty’s modernized A Midsummer Night’s Dream throughout the summer; the next performance will start at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Southern Tier Brewing Company.

Staff writers Julia Arwine, Duard Headley and Val Lick contributed to this report.
Tags : A Midsummer Night’s DreamChautauqua Symphony OrchestractcMusic Voice ProgramSchool of DanceThe Arts

The author Maggie Prosser

Maggie Prosser will be covering the dance programs, Institution administration, the board of trustees and the CPOA for her second summer at the Daily. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, she is a rising junior studying journalism at Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. Outside of her studies, she serves as the editor-in-chief of The New Political, an award-winning political publication at OU, and loves eating gluten-free bread.