Literature in the society is one of the fields that have a rich history background. This has been as a result of the recording ability, especially in terms of books and other written works that were recorded and store for a future generation. There are different writers, playwrights and poet whose work dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries whose work still a strong influence on the modern literature. Among these is Shakespeare. There are numerous works of Shakespeare that still have a strong impact on the current forms of literature, more than four centuries later after they were done. Some of his works have been adapted into plays while others have been converted into movies and films. Among the work that has been converted into films is A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
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A film based on A Midsummer’s Night Dream was released in 1999, directed by Joanna Settle. The main plot of this is specifically based on this play, with the director of this film, Michael Hoffman working out to depict the impact that city law has on the lives of lovers. The film therefore revolves around two couples who were all in love not with the right partner in their lives but with a wrong one. There are various operatic works that are depicted in this film and arguments by analysts have it that most of these operatic works are based on the work that was developed by Felix Mendelssohn in the 19th century (Sanders 2007).
Sanders (2007) asserts that, whereas the work by Shakespeare has had tremendous impact on the overall musical scene, music, especially opera has been able to influence greatly the plays and comedies that have been done based on Shakespeare’s work (108). Thus A Midsummer’s Night Dream film is not an exception. In reference to McCants (2003), A Midsummer’s Night Dream was a musical play that was aligned towards adapting opera as its genre of music (20).
As a result of this, most of the work that has been done by Shakespeare has found itself having more music being included in it during lives performances to enhance the quality of the play that is released to the public or rather the audience. According to Charles (2000) website, there are different choreographers that have chosen to include in Shakespeare’s work music, especially opera that belong to an 18th and 19th century generation or rather music that were composed and sang during this period. In regard to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are several choreographers that worked on it that have been able to include music that were specifically created by Felix Mendelssohn. To begin with, there is Marius Petipa who is cited by Charles (2000) as the first choreographer to include Mendelssohn music in A Midsummer Night’s Dream way back in 1876 and this play was first performed at St. Petersburg in 1876. In spite of the fact that Marius Petiba was the first choreographer to include Felix Mendelssohn’s music that comprised of opera, he was not the last one. There are many other that came in later on and still included this opera in the play A Midsummer Night’s dream.
In this regard therefore, it is not strange to argue that there are a lot of musical pieces from Mendelssohn’s work that are included in the film version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. According to Rocco (2010) in an article that appeared in the New York Times while referring to this film; there are tremendous works that was done by Mendelssohn that was included in this film. Rocco (2010) was quoted saying, ‘There is too much rushing about and slumping of torsos to make full use of Mendelssohn’s music’.
As said by Rocco (2010), there is so much that the play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ carries that needs to be revealed to the rest of the audience. This cannot be achieved if there is no appropriate music that was included in the film to accompany different characters’ roles as they sought to portray to the world the richness of the play itself. Similarly, it was difficult to transform literature work that was done several centuries ago and be able to capture the minds of the 21st century audience.
Answers.com website (2010) reiterates that most of Mendelssohn’s classical that are included in this film create a picture of how the fairies looked like or rather are believed to have looked like in those days when the play was being created by Shakespeare. Therefore, Mendelssohn’s operatic music succeeds in creating this image to the audience, portraying them as humorous, sexy, mischievous and in some cases of no good (Answers.com 2010). More so, the director of this film concentrated more on producing a traditional movie rather than a modern film.
The work of Shakespeare has been able to shake different generations over the last several centuries. Much of the 18th, 19th and 20th century saw a lot of his work being turned into plays, with each play working out on its representation to better portray his work. However, towards the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, there is an increasing turn towards adapting this work into films and movies. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is among Shakespeare’s work that has been adapted into a movie. However, one of the notable observations is the use of Felix Mendelssohn’s operatic music to maintain the status quo of the film i.e. its traditional texture.
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