7th November 2015

Hermia (Kitty Whately) and Lysander (Ben Johnson)

Hermia (Kitty Whately) and Lysander (Ben Johnson)

I am currently enjoying a very energetic and fun time in Bergen, Norway, for the magical Robert Carsen production of Britten's sublime imagining of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

It is a superb production, which has been running (and jumping) for 24 years around the world, after it's first performance in the Aix en Provence Festival.  If you ever get the chance to see this producton, which I know will last forever, please grab it. It is a masterpiece. You can watch the whole thing here, filmed last year at the Aix en Provence festival, with a different cast. Read more about the production here, from the artistic director of Bergen National Opera, Mary Miller.

                Oberon- Tim Mead, Bottom- Gidon Saks, Tytania- Laura Claycomb, Helena- Hanna Husahr, Demetrius- Marcus Farnsworth, Hermia- Kitty Whately, Lysander- Ben Johnson  

                Oberon- Tim Mead, Bottom- Gidon Saks, Tytania- Laura Claycomb, Helena- Hanna Husahr, Demetrius- Marcus Farnsworth, Hermia- Kitty Whately, Lysander- Ben Johnson

 

 

We have superb cast, many of whom are British singers. It has been a great pleasure to work with old friends, including my old Chetham's School of Music buddy, Marcus Farnsworth, with whom I have performed in three Britten operas over the past few years.  My Lysander, Ben Johnson, is a fellow BBC New Generation Artist, and we have known each other for a long time, although we have not worked together very often. Our Helena, Swedish soprano Hanna Husahr, and I studied together at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, so it has been lovely to catch up with her, and she and I have some fantastically fun scenes together, playing with Barbie dolls and pillow fighting.

                             Helena- Hanna Husahr, Demetrius- Marcus Farnsworth, Hermia- Kitty Whately, Lysander- Ben Johnson

                             Helena- Hanna Husahr, Demetrius- Marcus Farnsworth, Hermia- Kitty Whately, Lysander- Ben Johnson

We have just a few more performances left, before returning to the UK after five happy but long weeks away from our loved ones. It has been great fun, but I am ready for home now. One thing that has made my time away from home easier, was a lovely visit from my parents, who brought my daughter, Ivy (9) here to see me. We had a lovely time exploring the mountains and fjiords, and my family enjoyed watching some of the rehearsals and sneaking backstage to see some of the superb costumes.

 

                             Whately family, backstage at the Grieghallen, Bergen- Madelaine Newton, Kitty Whately, Ivy, and Kevin Whately

                             Whately family, backstage at the Grieghallen, Bergen- Madelaine Newton, Kitty Whately, Ivy, and Kevin Whately

 

There are talks of further revivals in 2016, so watch this space.