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Check out Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Act 2 – “Be Kind and Courteous To This Gentleman” by Elizabeth Harwood & London Symphony Orchestra. Watch movie and read libretto and translation of Be kind and courteous, an aria for from the English opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Benjamin Britten. Watch movie and read libretto and translation of Be kind and courteous, an aria for from the English opera Midsummers Night’s Dream by Benjamin Britten.

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While Oberon takes music that seems to harken to Purcell and the forest music has a twelve tone undercurrent it is the play within a play that sees Britten at his most wittily reverential.

This was a startling innovation for 20th Century opera, leading men were generally tenors, and Britten would go on to write one further significant countertenor role, The voice of Apollo in Death in Venice. Oberon argues with Tytania over a young changeling boy Oberon wants him for a knight whilst Tytania wants to keep him as his mother was one of her servants.

Flees Athens with Hermia before the opera begins. Moth Treble The third of Tytania’s four fairy servants.

Be kind and courteous

The mechanicals arrive in the forest. Plays the lion that rather sweetly fails to eat Thisbe. It is nearly dawn. The third of Tytania’s four fairy servants. The steady rise of this vocal type was predominantly in Renaissance and Baroque music until Britten wrote Oberon for Alfred Deller, the leading countertenor of the mid 20th Century.

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If we shadows have offended, Think but iknd, and all is mended: Puck Spoken A mischievous sprite who does the bidding of Oberon to sometimes unintended effect. A joiner who is timid and a bit thick. Peter Hall’s Glyndebourne production is delightful, Hall made MSND a cornerstone of his career, and this cast can seldom have been bettered.

Falls for Bottom as a result of a love potion to hilarious effect. The Lion roars to a polka and Thisbe kills herself to a Victorian ballad.

Britten: Be Kind And Courteous (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream) (page 1 of 1) | Presto Sheet Music

Demetrius arrives pursued by Helena but angrily dismisses her. Oberon I am your spaniel Sung by: Be kind and courteous Sung by: Tytania Soprano The queen of the fairies. Lysander loves Hermia though she is engaged to his friend Demetrius.

The tailor who plays the part of moon. Helena runs off thinking Lysander is making fun of her, Lysander chases after and Hermia awakens to find herself all alone. Don’t worry if it seems like a lot to remember, one of the joys of this opera is just how enjoyable it is even when you’ve lost the plot! Oberon is now angry with Puck and instructs him to sort the couples out.

The definitive recording, conducted by Britten himself with Dellar as Oberon. Britten captures these disparate narratives with contrasting sound worlds. His health was uneven; gout, tendonitis and bursitis all plaguing him over the course of the year. Bottom awakens with his head returned to normal, he thinks it has only been a dream but a very strange dream at that. Puck has not completed his task! Fun Facts Oberon Today countertenors have more or less joined the lineup alongside Tenors, Baritones and Basses but this is a actually a very recent phenomenon.


We next meet Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius and Helena. From the ethereal beauty of the fairies to the rough and tumble of the Mechanicals. Auden, Britten had regularly returned to the subject of dreams and darkness whilst innocence was a subject that preoccupied him throughout his life.

The juice of this flower has the power to make anyone fall in love with the next person they see. Puck acts without thought for others but acts essentially innocently.

Helena I know a bank where the wild thyme blows Sung by: The other mechanicals who have been searching for Bottom come across him nad he announces that their play is to be performed at court. Puck appears and thinking he has found Demetrius sprinkles the kinr on Lysander.

This isn’t to say it isn’t popular but considering its accessibility, wit and sophistication: She still loves Demetrius despite this They fuss over the casting, Bottom’s shenanigans setting off hilarity, but eventually all is settled and they agree to meet later the same night to rehearse.