Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fairy Queen Fantasy at Lynden Sculpture Garden: Bravissimo!

If you made it to the performance, then you've experienced the magic and I don't have to say a word. Enjoy a few photographic reminiscences.

If you missed Fairy Queen Fantasy, which was performed twice this weekend on the grounds of the Lynden Sculpture Garden, allow me to give you a small taste of earthly and other delights.

The fairies, who could appear from anywhere, were warm and welcoming.

The story, adapted as an opera by Henry Purcell, was based on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." While I'm not normally an opera fan, the few that I've seen and found memorable have stretched the genre in creative ways. I will remember this one a very long time.

Over 50 performers led an audience estimated at over 400 (on Friday evening) in two directions around the central pond. Professional members of Danceworks and Milwaukee Opera Theater were supported by a cast ranging in age from seven to seventy-seven (I was told.)

The settings were stunning as musicians and dancers alike took advantage of the monumental sculptures that grace the landscape.

The lighting was spectacular!

The musicians were suitably dignified and occasionally--and appropriately--undignified. They managed to be heard in the outdoor environment, accompanied now and then by sirens on Brown Deer Road and bullfrogs in the pond.

Even the younger fairies were poised and well practiced...

...and when they weren't performing themselves, they were engrossed by those who were.

At the climax, when both groups of performers and their trailing audiences had made a full circuit and returned to the patio, the audience was invited to join in the fun.

In the end, in what seemed to be (from the startled and amused looks on the musicians' faces) an impromptu departure from the script, Oberon swept Titania off her feet.

But wait, there's more. If you'd like to see the complete set of photos from both a rehearsal and the Friday night performance, go to my flickr album.

Full disclosure: I am serving as one of the Lynden's Artists in Residence for 2015.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Danceworks' Fairy Queen Fantasy will enliven the Lynden this weekend

The latest in a series of creative collaborations with arts organizations will unfold throughout the grounds of the Lynden Sculpture Garden on Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20. Danceworks is presenting a tour de force adaptation of a piece by Purcell called Fairy Queen Fantasy. The performance involves 53 dancers aged 7-77, along with a host of musicians.

I went to a rehearsal last night and I was quite captivated by the performance, even in the rough form of a stop and start rehearsal. The action moves throughout the grounds, weaving around and through many of the sculptures (as you can see from the photos.) Here are a small selection of images. To see the complete set go to my flickr album.

For more information about the performances go to the Lynden Sculpture Garden website.

To see additional images from the rehearsal go to my flickr album.

Full disclosure: I am serving as one of the Lynden's Artists in Residence for 2015.