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Yale Opera presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream in February 2016

Stage director Claudia Solti, conductor Rune Bergmann make their Yale Opera debuts with Britten's magical work
December 17, 2015
Rune Bergmann, conductor

Rune Bergmann, conductor

The Yale School of Music presents Yale Opera‘s new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this coming February 19–21. One of the most frequently performed operas today, Benjamin Britten’s atmospheric opera is adapted from Shakespeare’s revered play of the same title.

The production will be directed by Claudia Solti, making her Yale Opera debut. Known for her work in theatre and film as well as opera, Solti previously directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2011 with conductor Valery Gergiev.

Norwegian conductor Rune Bergmann will also make his Yale Opera debut. Currently music director of the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra and the Fjord Cadenza Festival, Bergmann is considered “one of the most talented Scandinavian conductors” working today.

Claudia Solti, stage director

Claudia Solti, stage director

The cast features the vibrant young singers of the Yale Opera program, which is directed by Doris Yarick-Cross. They will be joined by the Yale Philharmonia in the orchestra pit and, in addition, the children’s chorus from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fairfield, Conn., directed by John Abdenour.

Shawn Boyle will provide scenic and projection design for this production, highlighting the atmosphere of Shakespeare’s wooded setting. John Carver Sullivan and Doug Harry return to Yale Opera as costume designer and lighting designer, respectively.

The opera will be performed February 19, 20, and 21 at New Haven’s historic Shubert Theater. The Friday and Saturday performances take place at 8 pm; the Sunday performance is at 2 pm. The opera will be sung in English and will include projected English supertitles.

Tickets are $19–50, $13 with student ID. Tickets are available from the Shubert Theater box office at 247 College Street, 203 562-5666, or shubert.com. For more information, the public should call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About Yale Opera
Doris Yarick Cross, artistic director

A highly selective program, Yale Opera offers rigorous career training in opera performance to sixteen singers enrolled in the program. It is one of the most successful graduate programs in the country for launching operatic careers for its alumni. Graduates of the program can regularly be heard singing in the world’s greatest opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others.

Each season Yale Opera presents a variety of public performances. A highlight is the fully staged production at New Haven’s Shubert Theater, complete with costumes, sets, and orchestra; recent productions include I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Così fan Tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, and La bohème. Yale Opera also undertakes fully-staged productions with piano or chamber accompaniment in Morse Recital Hall. In recent years, these productions have included Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, and Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia.

Claudia Solti, stage director

Claudia Solti graduated from Oxford University with an M.A. in English literature. She directed her first play, The Love of the Nightingale, while training to be an actress at LAMDA. The play received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival and Solti went on to direct The Mad Woman in the Attic at the Riverside Studios and The Duchess of Malfi and Uncle Vanya.

In 2001 she directed her first short film, Shotgun Wedding, written by Rowan Joffe and Amit Gupta. The film was highly commended at the Regus London Short Film Festival and nominated at both the New York Shorts International Film Festival and the Melbourne Film Festival.

Claudia’s debut as an opera director was A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Mariinsky in 2011 with Valery Gergiev. The production was nominated for numerous Golden Mask awards, including best director and best production, and won best production. In 2012 she won the Golden Sofit award for best production of the year.

Claudia’s latest project is a feature film she co-wrote with Debra Tammer entitled Dream On, loosely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is also developing a comedy TV show for the UK called Dirty Laundry and is attached to direct the movie Champion, a biopic based on the life of British rugby player Ben Cohen.

Rune Bergmann, conductor

An energetic and compelling figure on the podium, Norwegian conductor Rune Bergman is a dynamic, versatile conductor with an extensive classical, romantic, operatic and contemporary repertoire. Considered among today’s most talented young Scandinavian conductors, his elegant interpretations and reputation as an inspiring and profound musician continue to attract the attention of orchestras throughout the world.

Principal guest conductor of Lithuania’s Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra since 2013, and artistic director of Norway’s innovative Fjord Cadenza Festival since its inception in 2010, among the distinguished orchestras and opera houses abroad with which Maestro Bergmann has developed relationships are the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian National Opera, Mainfranken Theater Würzburg, and Philharmonie Südwestfalen, as well as the symphony orchestra s of Malmö, Helsingborg, Bergen, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Trondheim, Karlskrona, and Odense. In North America, he has guested with such orchestras as the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (where he led the world premiere of Grawemeyer Award-winning Serbian composer Djuro Zivkovic’s “Psalm XIII”), Grand Rapids Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, and the Brevard Music Festival. Upcoming engagements of note this spring 2016 include debuts with the Calgary Philharmonic and Detroit and Pacific Symphonies in North America, with a return engagement to the Orquestra Sinfonica Portugesa and a debut with the Poland’s Szczecin Philharmonic.

A multitalented musician who also plays trumpet, piano, and violin/viola, Rune Bergmann studied choir and orchestral conducting under Anders Eby, Jin Wang and Jorma Panula at Sweden’s Royal College of Music. He graduated with high honors from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, where he studied conducting under Chief Conductor Emeritus of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/former principal conductor of the Vienna Radio, Finnish Radio, Danish National symphony orchestras, Leif Segerstam. Honors include the 2010 Kjell Holm Foundation Culture Prize, the 2009 SMP Press culture award, and second prize in Helsingborg’s 2002 Nordic Conducting Competition. Maestro Bergmann’s former posts include deputy – General Musik Direktor with the Augsburger Philharmoniker and Theater Augsburg in Germany.