Midsummer Night’s Dream concert unveiled celebrating Shakespeare 400
són recently launched their latest project – a family concert combining live-art, a 30-piece orchestra and the fabulous music written for one of Shakespeare’s most enchanting plays – A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Taking place at Turner Sims, Southampton, starting at 3pm on Saturday 18th June, són share the stage with celebrated author, artist and presenter James Mayhew.
James’s Ella Bella Ballerina books will be familiar to many youngsters and their parents, and his Katie’s Picture Show series can now be found in museums and galleries all over the world, from the Met in New York, to the Louvre in Paris, as well as at London’s National Gallery – where an exclusive range of Katie merchandise, based on the books, was launched in 2015. A former Guest Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival, James is no stranger to presenting classical music in front of a live orchestra, giving concerts uniting art and orchestra around the globe.
Playing a sequence of music from Mendelssohn’s incidental music to the play, alongside selections from Purcell’s Faerie Queen, són perform the famous Wedding March, Scherzo and Nocturne, whilst James paints at the front of the stage. Via HD cameras trained onto his easel, his artwork is projected onto a giant screen above the orchestra’s heads for all in the audience to see. James weaves his paintwork deftly in time to the music – creating an immersive ballet of brushstrokes leading towards a final painting for each item of music. All the time, he holds the audience in the palm of his story-telling hand, guiding everyone through the plot and characters of Shakespeare’s Dream of Puck, Lion and midsummer fairies.
Robin Browning, són Artistic Director, said “I can’t wait to introduce Southampton audiences to James Mayhew – whether they’re children or adults, they’ll love this entrancing performance. I work with many professional musicians across the country, and they consistently tell me their work with James is the most magical and inspirational of all the education work they do. I’m excited that concert-goers in són‘s home city finally get to see one of James’s wonderful family concerts!”
Additional attractions for children and adults include two pre-concert events: a Midsummer-themed art workshop in the foyer, with activities including face-painting and costume-accessories, offering youngsters the chance to make items such as their own fairy wings prior to curtain-up; and a special collaboration with Southampton University Players brings the “Mechanicals” from Shakespeare’s original to life, on the Turner Sims stage, an hour before the show proper begins.
As a final enticement, James Mayhew will be signing exclusive new copies of his new illustrated book Ella Bella Ballerina and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the foyer after the show.
Fabulous fun for a (mid)summer’s day!
són present A Midsummer Night’s Dream
3pm – Sat 18th June 2016
Turner Sims, Southampton
Performance lasts approx 1 hour, without interval – ideally suited to ages 6+
Do you run a Children’s Book Club, or other organisation working regularly with youngsters? Get in touch and join our exciting mission – to nurture children’s love of music, art and story-telling throughout the region. We’d love to hear from you!
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