A midsummer

night's dream

When to see it



The Grieg Hall


150kr - 750kr


Show ended

‘Only one word necessary - sublime!’ - The newspaper La Provence after this summer's performance at Festival Aix-en-Provence.

See the iconic production by Robert Carsen in Bergen in November!

To tackle a Shakespearean play marked a departure for Benjamin Britten - a move away from his introverted, ambivalent characters of previous operas, towards the playwright´s bolder, unambiguous and outspoken personalities.

No tortured souls here, but openly emotional lovers, clownish, posturing rustics and glittering, vicious creatures from the other-world.


Britten talked of 'three layers of action': the quartet of lovers, the mechanicals and the fairies - and it was undoubtedly the last group who totally captured his imagination. Rather than merely painting a background of woodland mystery, Britten gives prominence to the glittering fairy world, treating it to the whole astonishing range of his harmonic virtuosity.

So we meet some startling innovations: Oberon is a counter-tenor, then a new phenomenon on the operatic stage; the fairy chorus imitate choir-school trebles, and Puck is a non-singing actor. And, at the opera's conclusion, instead of a triumphant chorus, Britten remains true to the play, with a lullaby-like ending with a simple melody underplayed by rhythmic tinkling from harps and keyboard.

The opera, put simply, is like no other. It speaks its own beguiling language, from flamboyant to wistful, pokes fun at the clichés of 'grand' opera, makes spikey comment on some of its composer´s own contemporaries, and achieves a miracle of deeply touching narrative and hilarious entertainment.

Our cast combines young British counter-tenor Tim Mead with soprano Laura Claycomb (famous in Bergen from her unforgettable role as The Queen of Shemakha in The Golden Cockerel) as Tytania, and world-acclaimed bass-baritone Gidon Saks marks a career first as Bottom. The non-singing role of Puck is played by the world famous actor Miltos Yerolemou, who played the master fencer Syrio Forel in Game of Thrones and is soon to be seen in Star Wars: Episode VII. Paul McCreesh conducts.

Introduction in the foyer, one hour before the opera starts, by art historian Gunnar Danbolt (7th, 9th and 13th November) and head of programming at BNO, Nicolai Riise (11th november).

Presented by Bergen National Opera and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.



Photo: Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2015 (c) Patrick Berger/artcomart

Floating beds_antoni_bofill

Photo:Antoni Bofill (performance in Lyric Opera of Chicago 2005)


Photo: Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2015 (c) Patrick Berger/artcomart

Duration: Approx. 2 hours and 55 minutes including one break of 30 minutes
Number of breaks: 1
Language: English
Subtitles: Norwegian

Contributing actors


Paul McCreesh

Paul McCreesh is well-known for the energy and passion that he brings to his music-making, and has guest conducted many of the major orchestras and choirs across the globe. He has established a strong reputation in the opera house and has conducted productions at the Teatro Real Madrid, Royal Danish Opera, Vlaamse Opera and at the Verbier Festival. In 2011 McCreesh launched his own record label, Winged Lion, and to date they have made six recordings, three of which have received major awards: Britten’s War Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts. He works regularly with youth orchestras and choirs and is active in building new educational initiatives whenever possible.

Director / Light Design:

Robert Carsen

Canadian director Robert Carsen grew up in Toronto and moved to the UK to study acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He began his directing career in Geneva with Mefistofele, which also toured the USA, and has since directed for the world's leading opera houses. He made his Royal Opera House debut in 2007 with Iphingénie en Tauride and returned in 2012 to direct Falstaff, for both of which he co-created the lightning design. He has a close relationship with the Paris Opéra, where his productions include Tannhäuser, Capriccio and Les Contes d'Hoffman. In addition, Carsen also participated in other productions including Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, Der Ring des Nibelungen, la traviata and The Queen of Spades. Other works of Carsen includes designs for various museums, among others for the Musée d'Orsay exhibition L'impressionnisme et la Mode.

Set and Costume Designer:

Michael Levine

Canadian Michael Levine has worked internationally as a set and costume designer for the past 30 years. He studied production design at The Central St. Martin's School of Art and Design in London. His designs have been seen on the stages of The Royal Opera London, La Scala Milan, The Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, The Netherlands Opera, Lyon Opera, Opera Nomori Tokyo, Geneva Opera and The San Fransisco Opera - to mention a few. Upcoming Projects include: Wozzeck by Alban Berg for Zurich Opera directed by Andreas Homoki; Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck for the Dutch National Opera directed by Lotte De Beer; Tannhauser by Richard Wagner for The Chicago Lyric Opera directed by Tim Albery.


Matthew Bourne

In 2012, the British choreographer Matthew Bourne, celebrated 25 years of creating and directing dance for musicals, opera, theatre, film as well as his own highly successful, award winning companies. He started his dance training at the comparatively late age of 22. He studied Dance Theatre and Choreography at The Laban Centre graduating in 1985. As Artistic Director of his first company, Adventures in Motion Pictures from 1987 until 2002 Matthew created many award winning works. The most iconic productions have been revived for New Adventures, which was launched by Matthew and his Co-Director Robert Noble in 2002. New Adventures is now the most successful and busiest dance company in the UK and a major exporter of British dance across the world.

Light Design:

Peter Van Praet / Robert Carsen

Robert Carsen worked closely on the light design with the Belgian lighting designer, Peter Van Praet. Van Praet began his career as the manager of the technical lighting department of Vlaamse Opera. He collaborates with leading opera directors of our time. He works regularly with Robert Carsen, their credits including Fidelio in Amsterdam and Florence, Tosca at Liceu, Barcelona, Der Rosenkavalier for Salzburg Festival and Elektra in Tokyo. Peter Van Praet also works regularly with La Fura dels Baus, credits including Der Ring des Nibelungen in Valencia and Le Grand Macabre at Liceu, La Monnaie, Rome Opera and ENO. For director Pierre Audi his lighting designs include Orlando furioso for Paris and Nice and Les Troyens for Dutch National Opera.


Tim Mead

Counter-tenor Tim Mead is praised for his elegant and warm tone, with faultless projection and stylish interpretations. Engagements in 2015/16 include Oberon in Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Glyndebourne; Angel 1/Boy in U.S. premiere of Written on Skin at Lincoln Center and on tour with Mahler Chamber Orchestra; Arsamene in Cavalli Xerse with Le Concert d’Astrée at Opéra de Lille, Theater an der Wien, and Theatre de Caen; leading role in Theater Basel’s ‘Melancholia’ programme; Messiah with the New York Philharmonic; and Bach B Minor Mass with Les Arts Florissants. Past highlights include Loevendie’s Spinoza at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the title role in Glass Akhnaten at Opera Vlaanderen, the title role Riccardo Primo at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Endimione La Calisto at Bayerische Staatsoper, Apollo in Britten Death in Venice at ENO and De Nederlandse Opera, the title role Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne, and Birtwistle’s The Minotaur for the Royal Opera House in London. Mead’s discography includes Bach St Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass, Handel Messiah, Saul, Solomon, Israel in Egypt, and The Triumph of Time and Truth, Admeto, Flavio, Riccardo Primo and Rinaldo, and Monteverdi L’incoronazione di Poppea.


Laura Claycomb

Grammy® Award winning soprano Laura Claycomb has firmly established herself as one of the finest operatic coloratura sopranos of her generation, best known for her ethereal high notes, impeccable musicianship and dramatic stage presence. Ms. Claycomb has appeared repeatedly with the Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Théâtre de la Monnaie, the London Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Le Concert d’Astrée, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Further highlights of her varied career range from engagements at the Salzburg Festival in Austria and the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, to the BBC Proms in London and the title role of Linda di Chamounix at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Looking forward to some highlights of the next seasons, Laura Claycomb makes her Glyndebourne debut as Zerbinetta this summer, and will sing her first Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Bregenz Festival. She is already famous in Bergen for her role as the Queen of Shemakha in our critically acclaimed production of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel in spring 2014.


Miltos Yerolemou

Miltos Yerolemou is one of the few actors who can play everything, from Shakespeare to the First Sword of the Sealord of Braavos. He has a number of theatrical and television appearances to his name, most notably Game of Thrones and the British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, Black Books and My Family. Next big thing on his horizon is no less than Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and The Danish with Girl with Eddie Redmayne. In November 2015 he will come to Bergen to play the role of Puck, the clever, mischievous elf or sprite that personifies the trickster in Shakespeare's original play.


Frode Olsen

Frode Olsen’s most recent and future engagements include FASOLT Das Rheingold Opéra de Monte Carlo, VODNIK Rusalka, ARKEL Pelleas et Mélisande, MÖNCH Matsukaze, and FATHER in Boesmann’s Au Monde Théâtre de la Monnaie, ASTRADAMORS Le Grand Macabre Gran Teatre del Liceu and Den Norske Opera, and DOKTOR Wozzeck Opéra de Marseille. His distinguished career has taken him to international opera houses such as Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels, De Vlaamse Opera Antwerp, Staatsoper Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden and Oper Leipzig. His most important roles include the title role in Saint Francois d’Assise, ASTRADAMORS Le Grand Macabre, KÖNIG MARKE Tristan und Isolde, GURNEMANZ Parsifal, WOTAN Die Walküre, PIMEN Boris Godunov, DOKTOR Wozzeck and ARKEL Pelleas et Mélisande.


Evelyn Krahe

Contralto Evelyn Krahe was a soloist for 5 years at the Landestheater Detmold in Germany from september 2007 to august 2013 and then two years at the Nationaltheater Mannheim until August 2015. There she performed as Erda, Floßhilde, 1st Norn, Waltraute and made her debut as Dalia, Carmen and Azucena. She worked as a guest at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, at the Staatstheater Braunschweig and at the Longborough Opera Festival, where she made her debut in England in 2007 singing Erda and Floßhilde. In 2011 she appeared as Erda at Den Nye Opera (Bergen Nasjonale Opera) in 2011 under the baton of Kent Nagano. Krahe is a sought after soloist, and after hearing Evelyn sing several times David Hefti composed a new piece for her voice which will be performed in Biel, Switzerland in November 2016. From the autumn 2015 Evelyn is devoting herself to freelance work.


Kitty Whately

The British mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately trained at Chetham’s School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal College of Music International Opera School. Operatic highlights include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Stewardess in Flight, both at Holland Park, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro in the Verbier Festival and Dorabello in Cosi fan tutte with English Touring Opera. Kitty Whately appears regularly as a concert singer, last season included Bach’s Magnificat with the BBC National Orchestra Wales and Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the Britten Sinfonia. She is also an outstanding interpreter of songs, and has been invited to give recitals at the Edinburgh International Festival, Wigmore Hall, Buxton Festival and Leighton House – to mention a few.


Hanna Husahr

Swedish soprano Hanna Husáhr studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at The Opera School in Gothenburg. Her opera debut was at Folkoperan, Stockholm as Leïla in Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles in 2009. Highlights of her operatic work include the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Latvian National Opera, Zerlina in Don Giovanni at Bergen National Opera, Romilda in Serse at Opéra Royal de Versailles, Frasquita in Carmen at Kilden Opera, Adina in L’elisir d’amore at the Finnish National Opera and Grethe in Peters Bryllup at the Musikfestspiele at Potsdam Sanssouci. Her concert repertoire ranges from early baroque to contemporary. Among her engagements are Nielsen's Symphony no. 3 at Gothenburg Concert Hall, Schubert's Mass in A flat at Berlin Philharmonie, St. John Passion at Berwaldhallen and The Polar Music Prize ceremony at Stockholm Concert Hall in honour of Kaija Saariaho. She has worked with conductors that include Herbert Blomstedt, Daniel Harding, Leif Segerstam, Pinchas Steinberg, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Rinaldo Alessandrini and Mikko Franck.


Ben Johnson

Despite his young age, the British tenor Ben Johnson has already an extensive career behind him. Highlights include Alfredo in La traviata, Nemorino in The Elixir of Love and Tamino in The Magic Flute at ENO, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni for Glyndebourne. Ben Johnson has performed with orchestras like BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons and Esa-Pekka Salonen. He appears on several recordings of which Szymanowski’s Third Symphony with Edward Gardner for Chandos marks a peak. Ben Johnson studied at the Royal College of Music and Benjamin Britten International Opera School.


Marcus Farnsworth

Marcus Farnsworth sings worldwide in opera, concert and recital. Opera plans include the world premiere of In Parenthesis by Ian Bell (Welsh National Opera) and recent highlights include Guglielmo CosÌ fan tutte, English Clerk in Britten Death in Venice and Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd (English National Opera); Sid in Britten Albert Herring (BBC Symphony Orchestra) and Aeneas in Purcell Dido and Aeneas (Early Opera Conpany). Concert plans include Carmina Burana (BBC SO); Beethoven Missa Solemnis (RTE Orchestra, Dublin); Bach St John Passion (Ulster Orchestra); Bach St Matthew and St John Passions (Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh). Recital appearances include Wigmore Hall, London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Musée d’Orsay, Paris.


Gidon Saks

Born in Israel and brought up in South Africa, Gidon Saks trained at the Royal Northern College of Music ​,​ the University of Toronto, and ​ at​ the Zurich Opera Studio. Recent highlights include Claggart in Billy Budd at Deutsche Oper, King Marke in Tristan und Isolde at Festival de Opera de Coruna, ​ ​ Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle at Teatr Wielki ​ and at the Komische Oper, and Nick Shadow in the Rake's Progress at the Berlin Staatsoper and at the Edinburgh Festival.​ His ​ future plans include Gyges in Der König Kandaules for the Vlaamse Oper, the King of France in Lear for the Opera de Paris and Claggart at the Bolshoi, the role that won him a coveted Grammy Award.​ Gidon Saks appears on several recordings, and works regularly with celebrated conductors including ​ Gardiner,​ Pappano, Gergiev, Runnicles, Marriner and Minkowski.


Andrew Slater

For a quarter of a century Andrew has been singing principal roles with the UK opera companies - also sometimes in Europe and America.

Thanks to the solid singing technique provided by the RNCM in the 1980's his voice has remained fresh as the odd grey hair has arrived, and he now looks and sounds ideal for the low voice roles of nobility or malevolence which abound in the repertoire. He is also good as the fat funny bloke. There is, in fact, a role to suit him in almost every opera.

He is eternally good-humored - taking as a blessing that his job is the activity he would do for fun around a conventional career.

In the last year he has sung: Buonafede in Il Mondo Della Luna with English Touring Opera, December full of Messiahs courtesy of the Bach Choir of the Netherlands, Lev in Birmingham opera company's Ice Break, Kurwenal in Longborough's Tristan and Claudio in Iford's Agrippina - also appearing at the Mimi Goes Glamping festival.


David Curry

The tenor David Curry is one of the most versatile performers in opera today, with a wide and varied repertoire that spans opera, operetta and musical theatre. Born in Canada and trained in London he has carved out a career that spans the globe. Over the recent years, his tremendous success at Théâtre du Châtelet in roles like Tony in West Side Story, Pirelli in Sweeney Todd and Enoch Snow in Carousel has made him a favourite musical artist with the Parisian audiences. David Curry has earlier appeared at Bergen National Opera as the title role in The Tales of Hoffmann in 2011, and in 2014 he was to be heard at OscarborgOperaen as the Duca in Rigoletto.


Petri Lindroos

Since his Master degree of Music at the Sibelius academy in Helsinki 1997 the bass Petri Lindroos has occured at many operahouses in the major European cities such as Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Brussels, Luxembourg, Paris, London, Munich, Milan, Rome etc. His role repertoire includes such as King Filip in Don Carlo, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Pimen in Boris Godunov, to mention a few. Petri Lindroos is also an interpreter of the big passions and masses throughout whole Europe in which Verdis Requiem and Berlioz’s Messe Solennelle under Riccardo Muti mark two higlights. Beside his performing career, he coaches and teaches vocal students from all over Scandinavia passing on the technique he was taught by his father, the famous tenor Peter Lindroos.


Bengt Ola Morgny

The Swedish tenor Bengt Ola Morgny has his education from the Opera and Theatre Academy of Gothenburg in which city he also made his debut as Borsa in Rigoletto. Over a period of time, he was engaged at Deutsche Opera in Berlin where he sang Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro, Pong in Turandot and the Dancing Master in Ariadne auf Naxos. Since 1996 he has held a position at the opera in Copenhagen where his Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Serail, Mime in the Nibelungen Ring won great acclaim in Stockholm. He regularly visits houses all over Europe: Drotningholm, Monte-Carlo, Hamburg and Munich, to mention a few. Bengt Ola Morgny has already been a guest twice at Bergen National Opera – in The Marriage of Figaro and The Tales of Hoffmann.


Alexander Robin Baker

Winner of Second Prize at the 2008 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Alexander Robin Baker trained at London's Guildhall School of Music and National Opera Studio. He made debuts with Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd and with Glyndebourne On Tour as Mercurio in L’Incoronazione di Poppea. Recent highlights include Happy in The Girl of the Golden West and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance, both at ENO. Regular concert engagements include Fauré’s Requiem with the City of London Sinfonia, Messiah with the Royal Choral Society and Carmina Burana with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The role of Starveling marks his debut with Bergen National Opera, which he will also sing for his debut next year at the Hyogo Center for Performing Arts, Japan.

All play times

  • 07/11 Saturday 18:00

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  • 09/11 Monday 19:00

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  • 11/11 Wednesday 19:00

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  • 13/11 Friday 19:00

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