Laurent Pelly's A Midsummer Night's Dream at Opéra de Lille. Photo: Simon Gosselin (detail) View full image

Laurent Pelly’s Dream enchants

Laurent Pelly’s new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for which he also designed sets and costumes, opened at Opéra de Lille on 6 May to great acclaim. Here are a selection of reviews

‘A wonderful production which achieves something very rarely seen with this work - a perfect synergy between staging, singers and the pit. Director Laurent Pelly creates one of his greatest successes... And however magical and inventive it may be, his scenic imagination is not limited simply to “special effects”. His wonderful direction of the singers summons with virtuosity the fantastical world of the spirits, Athenian heroes and Earth people. Vividly outlined situations, a gallery of quicksilver portraits – this Shakespearean dream achieves the ideal alchemy between comic edge and poetic shores.’

Le Monde

‘Laurent Pelly enchants... The director turns this camera obscura into a magic lantern, using the multiple resources of the machinery as a magician to create a miraculous world in which the contours of reality fade.’


‘This miraculous adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy by Benjamin Britten sparkles, moves and delights on the Lille stage thanks to the staging of Laurent Pelly, the musical direction of Guillaume Tourniaire and a vocal cast close to perfection.’

La Croix

‘Laurent Pelly enchants the viewer, first with a masterful use of light; as soon as the curtain rises, the appearance of the fairies... transports us to a truly magical universe: the term may seem redundant but here it is fully deserved... Magic, poetry, humour — all the dimensions of Britten's work are respected... This is the kind of show we are delighted to be able to say “I was there”, but which we also genuinely hope will have a long life, not only in Lille but also in the many other theatres which will have the excellent idea to programme it.’

Concert Classic

‘This dream, summery and frenzied, this crazy enchanted night, visibly enchants the public who enthusiastically applaud the show and its inventive and subtle director.’


‘Pelly, for three hours, with almost nothing but lights, two beds… and mirrors, pulls off a wonder of magic stuffed with poetic ideas’

Last week, Pelly was also awarded the prestigious Grand Prix du Plaisir du théâtre in recognition of his lifetime’s work in the theatre, in a ceremony held at the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD). The prize was created in 1979 and previous recipients include Jean-Louis Barrault and Václav Havel.

He also recently received his award for Best Director in the Opéra XII Awards at a ceremony in Malaga, in recognition of his operatic work in Spain during the 20/21 season, including his productions of La Cenerentola and Viva la mamma!.

Production images