Review: Boston Symphony launches three-week Shakespeare mini-festival

Posted on: February 2, 2016

“The Boston Symphony Orchestra on Thursday night embarked on its most focused and ambitious mini-festival of recent years,” writes Jeremy Eichler in Friday’s (1/29) Boston Globe. “Dedicated to celebrating Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death, it spans over three weeks…. Music director Andris Nelsons … raised the curtain … Thursday night with a program nicely built around ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ It began with Weber’s classic Overture to ‘Oberon,’ continued with Hans Werner Henze’s Eighth Symphony, and ended with Mendelssohn’s much-loved Overture and Incidental Music for the same play, in a new stage adaptation directed by Bill Barclay…. The fact that the [Henze] score was commissioned by the orchestra and premiered here in 1993 made its inclusion an inspired choice. The work that seemed to draw the most immediate response … was the Mendelssohn…. The costuming, props, and video projections made this a more elaborate production than I’ve seen the BSO take on before in Symphony Hall, and made me wonder about extending this semi-staged approach to the orchestra’s future opera projects…. ‘Shakespeare 400’ is off to an auspicious start.”

Posted February 2, 2016

Pictured: Abigail Fischer and Amanda Forsythe perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons at Symphony Hall. Photo by Winslow Townson