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A Midsummer Night's Dream

On Thursday 28th February, music and drama come together for an enchanting evening of magic and wonderment with a myriad of voices.

Felix Mendelssohn composed A Midsummer Night’s Dream at opposite ends of his short life, he wrote a concert overture based on Shakespeare’s classic comedy aged only 17 in 1826.

Mendelssohn finished composing the incidental music for a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1842 at the age of 33, just five years before his death. A romantic piece, Mendelssohn’s score is renowned for its stunning instrumental effects, such as the emulation of scampering ‘fairy feet’ on strings at the beginning of the Overture.

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is believed to have been written between the years of 1590 and 1596 and is said to be one of his most ubiquitous works, performed by theatre companies up and down the country.

Set in Athens, Greece, A Midsummer Night's Dream depicts the events that surround Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and his marriage to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. The play also follows the events and adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a troupe of six actors known as the Mechanicals, who are controlled by Oberon, King of the Fairies, his wife and Queen of the Fairies, Titania, and their fairy servants.

Markus Stenz, principle guest conductor of the Hallé, will be on the podium, beginning with a selection of delightful arias by Mozart, followed by the full incidental music of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Stenz will be joined by soloists Valda Wilson (soprano) and Anna Grevelius (mezzo-soprano) alongside the Hallé Youth Choir and the Ladies of the Hallé Choir.

In this British premiere, Shakespeare’s famous text has been adapted by Gerard McBurney to accompany Mendelssohn’s magical masterpiece.

David Shirley will direct Lucas Smith, Will Finlason, Lowenna Melrose and Katie Norris; young actors trained at the Manchester School of Theatre, who will reenact the evocative lines of William Shakespeare.

Concerts & Tickets

Buy tickets for Hallé performances

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Buy tickets and view information on performances by the Hallé in their Manchester home, the architecturally-stunning Bridgewater Hall, as well as throughout Britain and the rest of the world.

Listen & Shop

Hallé CDs, Downloads and Accessories

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The Hallé has a number of discs on its own CD label, featuring composers such as Elgar, Wagner, Colin Matthews, Debussy, Richard Strauss and other English composers. The label includes award-winning discs such as Wagner's Götterdämmerung and Elgar's Violin Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair as soloist. The latest release is Elgar's The Apostles.

Ensembles & Choirs

Welcome to the Hallé’s family of ensembles!

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The Hallé offers a range of regular, local and free ensemble experiences for young people aged 8 –19 years. It also offers adults (aged 18+) the chance to sing in one of the best symphony choruses in the UK.

Reaching over 44,000 participants a year

The Hallé's award-winning Education Programme

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The Hallé's award-winning Education Programme reaches over 44,000 participants a year principally by placing Hallé musicians in the community, in schools, youth clubs, community centres and young offenders organisations.

Support us

Fundraising and development

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There are many ways to support the Hallé - to find out more, explore the links opposite, read about our forthcoming events or speak to a member of the development team.

About us

Find out more about the Hallé

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Now in its 155th season, the Hallé ranks among the UK's top symphonic ensembles, with a distinguished history of acclaimed performances in this country and around the world; award-winning recordings, radio broadcasts and educational outreach programmes; and a visionary commitment to building audiences and developing orchestral repertoire.

Your visit

More information about your night out with the Hallé

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Find out more about what to expect from a Hallé concert as well as information about the Hallé's Manchester home - The Bridgewater Hall.