A Midsummer Night's Dream Performed To Mendelssohn

May 8, 2015

William Shakespeare
Credit Books18 / Flickr

Composers have been writing music influenced by stories and dramatic works for centuries, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night's Dream is no exception. It has been made into a ballet, an opera, and has inspired a great number of musical compositions, perhaps the most famous of which is the incidental music written by Felix Mendelssohn to accompany the play.

This weekend, the North Carolina symphony, in collaboration with the NC School of the Arts, is bringing this tale to life on stage. The music depicts a fanciful world of fairies, elves, and wood sprites.

WUNC's All Things Considered host Catherine Brand spoke with Ray Dooley, one of the actors in the production. Dooley is a professor of dramatic arts at UNC-Chapel Hill. He also leads school's professional actors training program.

Note: The musical excerpts in the interview were not played by the North Carolina Symphony but are examples of music the symphony will perform on the program.

Listen to the conversation: