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.


Conductor: Emmanuel Plasson

Titania: Akane Takada

Oberon: Steven McRae

Changeling Indian Boy: Ambrose Bartlett

Puck: Valentino Zucchetti

Bottom: Bennet Gartside

Rustics: Benjamin Ella, Kevin Emerton, Solomon Golding, Erico Montes, Calvin Richardson

Helena: Itziar Mendizabal

Demetrius: Tomas Mock

Hermia: Claire Calvert

Lysander: Matthew Ball

Peaseblossom: Gemma Pitchley-Gale

Cobweb: Emma Maguire

Moth: Elizabeth Harrod

Mustardseed: Romany Pajdak

Choir: London Oratory Junior Choir

Concert Master: Vasko Vassilev

Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House


ChoreographyFrederick Ashton

MusicFelix Mendelssohn

Musical arrangementJohn Lanchbery

DesignerDavid Walker

Lighting designerJohn B. Read


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