Long Beach Opera
The Fairy Queen and Culture Clash. You heard right.
You take Culture Clash, a Chicano/Latino performance troupe composed of the writers- satirists Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas, and Herbert Sigüenza, throw them into a semi-opera composed in 1692, and you’re bound to come up with something…well, a clash of culture.
Long Beach Opera has joined forces with Culture Clash (@) for a re-imagination of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Fairy Queen is described as “…a gender-bending culture clash of social satire. Shakespeare’s labyrinth of foolish love is explored through our multicultural America and fused together through (Henry) Purcell’s musical magic.”
That’s Henry Purcell, an English composer who composed The Fairy Queen in 1692. On their website, Long Beach Opera (LBO) calls it a masque or semi-opera. The score for the opera was lost and only rediscovered early in the twentieth century. Purcell did not set any of Shakespeare’s text to music; instead he composed music for short masques in every act but the first. The play itself was shortened and updated, but in the main the spoken text is as Shakespeare wrote it. LBO has commissioned a new adaptation by Culture Clash.
Culture Clash and Long Beach Opera
The trio recently joined Long Beach Opera, Arts council for Long Beach, and the Office of Long Beach Vice Mayor Rex Richardson at the Michelle Obama Library for a preview panel discussion, The Bard, The Queen and The Clash: A Midsummer Night’s Dream through the Prism of Chicano Art. Dr. Anna Sandoval, Chair of the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies, Cal State Long Beach, opened the discussion with an overview of the Chicano Theater movement followed by Culture Clash speaking about it’s impact on that movement.
The Queen and Culture Clash in Vegas
This version of The Fairy Queen has been re-imagined by Culture Clash to Las Vegas.
“Ron and Tanya, known to some as Oberon and Titania, are preparing to throw a party to celebrate Ron’s birthday at Club Fairy Queen in sultry Las Vegas. The party planning comes to halt when Tanya discovers Ron flirting with one of the club’s dancers. In a haphazard attempt to fix the blunder, Puck (the fiendish club owner) offers Ron a mysterious juice from a cactus flower to renew Tanya’s love. The concoction does as promised, but cupid’s arrow has missed its mark. The magic potion finds its way into several unwitting hands causing lovers’ eyes to wander, lines of sexual orientation to blur, and hilarious chaos to arise. Shakes, a drunken poet, stands readily by to trade his sonnets for drinks and give his unsolicited advice to the lost lovers.”
You get the picture. LBO’s Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek described the creative process between the opera company and Culture Clash.
For More Information on the Queen and Culture Clash
The Fairy Queen is the LBO’s season opener. Performances are January 22 and 28, 217 at Beverly O’Neill Theater in downtown Long Beach. You can visit the Long Beach Opera’s website for more information and to buy tickets to The Fairy Queen as well as the rest of the company’s season.