Keith Lockhart to Direct 'A Midsummer NIght's Dream'

Keith Lockhart to Direct 'A Midsummer NIght's Dream'

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Carole Mikita Reporting Even before the two arts organizations merged, The Utah Symphony and Opera had a long-standing partnership. But this weekend's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream' does have a first. The Symphony musicians are certainly used to playing for opera singers, but this is the first time Keith Lockhart has conducted an opera here.

Same conductor, same musicians, different place. Not on stage at Abravanel Hall but in the orchestra pit at the Capitol Theatre, Keith Lockhart makes his Utah opera debut.

Keith Lockhart, Music Director, Utah Symphony & Opera: “Well, ever since the merger two plus years ago now, we said that one of the things we were going to do was artistically cross the two different art forms.”

Lockhart looked for a work that would have popular appeal.

Keith Lockhart: “We decided to focus on one where the story was universally known and universally loved. Because, you know, everybody knows the librettist of this opera. Mr. Shakespeare has a big fan club."

This newest production has also kept the costumers bustling day and night, from filmy fabrics to Bottom's donkey head, to the guest artists' fairy hats.

Starring as queen of the fairies is doubly delightful for Celena Shafer. It’s an opportunity to sing in a magical setting, under the direction of Keith Lockhart and to do it at home.

Celena Shafer, Tytania, 'A Midsummer Night's Dream: "My little boy’s at the theatre during the afternoon rehearsal. I don't have to tote the whole family across the nation to work. And to have this wonderful company here and to be able to work here is just such a blessing."

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" opens Saturday at the Capitol Theatre and runs through March 20th.

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