Check out Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Act 2 – “Be Kind and Courteous To This Gentleman” by Elizabeth Harwood & London Symphony Orchestra. Watch movie and read libretto and translation of Be kind and courteous, an aria for from the English opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Benjamin Britten. Watch movie and read libretto and translation of Be kind and courteous, an aria for from the English opera Midsummers Night’s Dream by Benjamin Britten.

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Plays the lion brihten rather sweetly fails to eat Thisbe. Surprise, courtteous he awakens and instantly falls in love. Moth Treble The third of Tytania’s four fairy servants. Auden, Britten had regularly returned to the subject of dreams and darkness whilst innocence was a subject that preoccupied him throughout his life.

The king of the fairies. This Mendelssohn music contains possibly one of the most recognisable tunes ever written: Plays Pyramus in the play within the play. Much of the drama in MSND hinges on a magical, love inducing flower.

Be kind and courteous | A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Benjamin Britten

Puck then leads the four away through the woods, applying the courtous juice and antidote to them as they fall asleep. A force to be reckoned with though she is dominated by Oberon.

Arguably one of Britten’s best recordings of his own works!

The definitive recording, conducted by Britten himself with Dellar as Oberon. Flute Tenor A bellow-mender excited by the prospect of acting in a play. The third of Tytania’s four fairy servants. Britten’s MSND has an enormous number of characters by operatic standards and it is also unusual in that so many of them are prominent. On another it is a psychological treasure trove, purity, madness and cruelty crashing against each other to riveting effect.


Britten captures these disparate narratives with contrasting sound worlds. While Oberon takes music that seems to harken to Purcell and the forest music has a twelve tone undercurrent it is the play within a play that sees Britten at his most wittily reverential. The first of Tytania’s four fairy servants. The Duke of Athens the chap who slayed the minotaur in Greek legend.

Helena I know a bank where the wild thyme blows Sung by: Quince Bass The leader of the mechanicals troupe though Bottom often rides roughshod over his opinions. Demetrius arrives pursued by Helena but angrily dismisses her. A friend of Hermia who was previously engaged to Demetrius before he called it off to marry Hermia.

An otherworldly force who can be more than a little creepy. It is night in the woods outside Athens. The mechanicals deliver their ludicrous and hilarious Pyramus and Thisbe for ocurteous three couples. Starveling Baritone The tailor who plays the part of moon.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream | The Opera

Puck Spoken A mischievous sprite who does the bidding of Oberon to ajd unintended effect. Helena Soprano A friend of Hermia who was previously engaged to Demetrius before he called it off to brritten Hermia.

The other mechanicals who have been searching for Bottom come across him as he announces that their play is to be performed at court. Oberon is now angry with Puck and instructs him to sort the couples out.

Be kind and courteous Sung by: Hermia enters and is swiftly rejected by Lysander which only enrages Helena more as she thinks the other three are mocking her. Unfortunately things get even worse when Helena and Lysander come hurtling in, waking Demetrius who promptly falls in love with Helena. This unhappy group is overheard by Oberon who instructs Puck to fix the group by making Demetrius fall for Helena using the magic flower.


MSND however, was something kimd a rush job, going from conception to opening night in well under a year. She still loves Demetrius despite this That you have but slumbered here While these visions did appear….

Be kind and courteous

These characters divide into three groups, each with a largely separate plot as in Shakespeare’s play. Usually sung by a boy treble but occasionally by a female singer. Peter Hall’s Glyndebourne production is delightful, Hall made MSND a cornerstone of his career, and this cast can seldom have been bettered. We next meet Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius and Helena. Helena is distraught and seeing Lysander moves to wake him. From the ethereal beauty of the fairies to kihd rough and tumble of the Mechanicals.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Oberon Injurious Hermia Sung by: A joiner who is timid and a bit thick. Henry Purcell produced The Fairy Queena series of masques intertwined with a bowdlerized MSND text and Felix Mendelssohn wrote a concert overture as well as incidental music for the play. We leave the woods for Athens. Don’t worry if it seems like a lot to remember, one of the joys of this opera is just how enjoyable it is even when you’ve lost the plot!

Snug Bass A joiner who is timid and a bit thick.

The fourth of Tytania’s four fairy servants. Fun Facts Oberon Today countertenors have more or less joined the lineup alongside Tenors, Baritones and Basses but this is a actually a very recent phenomenon.