Steven McRae Oberon and Akane Takada as Titania in The Dream. © ROH 2017. Photo by Tristram Kenton

The Dream (2017)

19 March17 April 2021
Online only
Ballet and dance

The high-spirited misadventures of the two pairs of mortal lovers from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream combine with the humorous cavorting of Bottom, played by a male dancer who dances en pointe after his ludicrous transformation. The ballet culminates in a powerful pas de deux for Oberon and Titania, which moves through a stormy conflict of wills to a harmonious union. Felix Mendelssohn’s witty, gossamer-light music for the play provides a perfect partner to Frederick Ashton's inventive choreography.

The 2020/21 Ballet Season is generously supported by Aud Jebsen.

Streaming generously supported by The Foyle Foundation.



Oberon, King of the Fairies, has quarrelled with his Queen, Titania. He longs to humiliate her, and orders Puck to make her fall in love with a monster. Meanwhile, he and Puck meddle with the lives of four mortal lovers who wander across their path.

Much confusion ensues, between the four mortals as their loves entangle, and within a troupe of actors, one of whose number is transformed into an ass to become Titania’s paramour. Finally, Oberon makes peace with Titania, and returns things to their natural order.


ConductorEmmanuel Plasson

TitaniaAkane Takada

OberonSteven McRae

Changeling Indian BoyAmbrose Bartlett

PuckValentino Zucchetti

BottomBennet Gartside

RusticBenjamin Ella

RusticKevin Emerton

RusticSolomon Golding

RusticErico Montes

RusticCalvin Richardson

HelenaItziar Mendizabal

DemetriusTomas Mock

HermiaClaire Calvert

LysanderMatthew Ball

PeaseblossomGemma Pitchley-Gale

CobwebEmma Maguire

MothElizabeth Harrod

MustardseedRomany Pajdak

ChoirLondon Oratory Junior Choir

Concert MasterVasko Vassilev

OrchestraOrchestra of the Royal Opera House


ChoreographyFrederick Ashton

MusicFelix Mendelssohn

Musical arrangementJohn Lanchbery

DesignerDavid Walker

Lighting designerJohn B. Read


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