William Shakespeare. Ballet by Felix Mendelssohn
The performance is performed with recorded music
Place of action – Athens and a forest near it.
The action begins with an introduction of the main characters and their relationships. Theseus – Duke of Athens and Hippolyta – Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus and their upcoming wedding.
Following are the main four characters of the young lovers – Hermia and Lysander, who are in love with each other. Hermia refuses to obey her father Egeus and marry Demetrius, a man he has assigned to her. Next comes Helena who is in love with Demetrius and Demetrius who is in love with Hermia. Faithful to their love, Hermia and Lysander decide to run away and thus end up in the forest, which is inhabited by magical creatures – fairies and elves. They are followed by Demetrius, who follows Hermia in his struggle for her love, and by Helena, who follows her beloved Demetrius. Alongside are presented and enter the plot the characters of the actors, local artisans who are preparing to present their play to Theseus and Hippolyta in honour of their wedding, and looking for a secluded place to rehearse, find themselves in the forest.
It is a parallel world out there, ethereal and magical, a world of elves and fairies, which is invisible to man. There is Oberon, king of the fairies, and Titania, his queen Oberon and Titania are estranged because Titania does not want to give him her Indian changeling to use as his knight or henchman. Oberon seeks to punish Titania for her disobedience. He calls on Puck, his shrewd and mischievous sprite, to help him through magical flower juice. When the potion is applied to the eyelids of a sleeping person and when that person wakes up, he falls in love with the first living thing he sees. Oberon instructs Puck to find the flower, hoping to make Titania fall in love with a forest animal and thus shame her.
Hermia and Lysander reach the same forest in hopes of escaping. Helena is desperate to win Demetrius' love back. She promises him to love him more than Hermia. However, he repels her with cruel insults. Observing this and outraged by the situation, Oberon orders Puck to put some of the magical juice on the young man's eyelids. Instead, Puck, having never seen either Demetrius or Lysander, makes the mistake of putting the magic juice on Lysander's eyelids instead of on Demetrius’. Helena, passing by, wakes Lysander, trying to figure out if he is dead or asleep. Lysander wakes up and immediately falls in love with Helena. Oberon sees Demetrius still chasing Hermia and is enraged by Puck's mistake and orders him to fix it. When Demetrius goes to sleep, Oberon sends Puck to put some of the magic juice on Demetrius' eyes. When he wakes up, Demetrius sees Helena and immediately falls in love with her. Now they are both aiming for Helena. However, she is convinced that she is being mocked because neither of them loved her. Hermia does not understand why her lover left her and accuses Helena of stealing Lysander from her. The four are arguing with each other. Oberon orders Puck to make no more mistakes and remove the spell. Lysander loves Hermia again, while Demetrius continues to love Helena.
At the same time, the actors are rehearsing their play in the forest near Titania's dwelling. Titania is enchanted and asleep. Puck turns Bottom's head into a donkey's. When Bottom returns, his other colleagues start running and screaming, thus confusing Bottom because he didn't sense the transformation. Determined to wait for them to return, he begins to sing to himself. Singing, he wakes up Titania, she looks at him and immediately falls in love with him. Having achieved what he wanted, Oberon frees Titania and orders Puck to remove Bottom's donkey head, and make it so that when Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena wake up they would believe they were dreaming, and Bottom would as well believe it was a dream.
The ballet ends with the restoration of harmony in the relationship between Oberon and Titania, as well as with a happy resolution to the love affairs of the lovers Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena. Theseus and Hippolyta find the sleeping lovers while participating in a morning hunt. They wake them up and Theseus decides on the day of his wedding the two couples in love to get married too.
It all ends happily with three weddings. Everything in the forest had been a dream.
Theseus—Duke of Athens
Hippolyta—Queen of the Amazons, bethrothed to Theseus
Lysander—in love with Hermia
Hermia—daughter of Egeus, in love with Lysander
Demetrius— in love with Hermia
Helena—in love with Demetrius
Oberon—King of the Fairies
Titania—Queen of the Fairies
Puck - малък дух – пакостник
Egeus—father of Hermia
Nick Bottom—a weaver
Peter Quince—a carpenter
Francis Flute—a bellows-mender
Tom Snout—a tinker
Robin Starveling—a tailor
Retinue trio women Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta
Fairy servants to Titania