The Fairy Queen
Opera Theater joins forces with the Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) to present Henry Purcell's masque (or "semi-opera"), The Fairy Queen, which contains some of the composer's most exquisite theater music. The work was first performed in 1692, three years before Purcell's death at the age of 35. Following his death, the score was lost and only rediscovered early in the twentieth century.
The libretto is an anonymous adaptation of William Shakespeare's wedding comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. Purcell did not set any of Shakespeare's text to music; instead he composed music for short masques in every act but the first. The masques are related to the play metaphorically, rather than literally. Recent scholarship has shown that the opera, which ends with a masque featuring Hymen, the God of Marriage, was actually composed for the fifteenth wedding anniversary of William and Mary.
The Fairy Queen features performances by CAPA voice students accompanied by the CAPA Baroque Ensemble.