Alexander Shelley & Emer McDonough

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Tuesday 22 November 2022, 19:30

Past Event
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Past Event


Fauré Pelléas et Mélisande: Suite
Ibert Flute Concerto
Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Incidental Music


Alexander Shelley conductor
Emer McDonough flute
Tama Matheson actor
London Voices*
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

(*change to previously advertised chorus)

A dramatic rendering of Shakespeare’s classic play, retold and performed by Tama Matheson.

Alexander Shelley (Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) delves into fairytale worlds with two selections of theatrical music, from Fauré and Mendelssohn. Fauré’s Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande combines sweet melodies with moments of suspense and subtly infuses details of the story, from hunting French horn calls to lilting string triplets representing Mélisande’s spinning wheel. It also features the Sicilienne’s sublime flute melody which is quintessential Fauré and one of his best-known pieces.

Shelley also conducts a special performance of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, adapted live on stage by Tama Matheson. This adaptation presents Shakespeare’s imperishable play in a unique and hilarious way. The Bard (Tama Matheson) narrates his own play in sparkling and witty rhyming couplets, and inhabits the story as he goes: moving seamlessly in and out of the action, becoming all his characters, and giving a much shortened, but nevertheless dazzling and distinctive rendering of his play with Mendelssohn’s shimmering music performed live.

Ibert’s energetic Flute Concerto showcases the virtuosity of the RPO’s own Principal Flute, Emer McDonough. Dedicated to the great French flautist Marcel Moyse, the Concerto exhibits the full range of the flute with rapid, dazzling passages alongside elegiac phrases and rich tones.

Duration: approx. 2 hours 20 mins (incl. 20-minute interval)

Ticket Information

£45, £42, £35, £25, £15

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