North Carolina Symphony: more than Mendelssohn for “Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Posted on: May 5, 2015

In Saturday’s (5/2) Raleigh News & Observer, Roy C. Dicks interviews North Carolina Symphony Music Director Grant Llewellyn and Carl Forsman, dean of the drama department at UNC’s School of the Arts, about a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream scheduled for May 7-9 in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Joining the orchestra are UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Choir and sixteen actors, including twelve UNC drama students, two members of the UNC faculty, and two actors from Chapel Hill’s PlayMakers Repertory Company. For the show’s music, Llewellyn says, Mendelssohn’s 1842 score “was a no-brainer but we felt there was room for other music…. We found Michael Gandolfi’s score for a 2001 production that captures the play’s delicacy and humor. That led to Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, which will also highlight humorous moments.” As mood music or accompaniment to dialogue, Llewellyn chose such works as Charles Ives’s The Unanswered Question and John Adams’s Shaker Loops. Forsman says, “We’ll try to use as much of the space as we can. Besides the front of the stage, there’s a space behind the orchestra to play on and we’ll probably use the aisles.”

Posted May 5, 2015