Fantasy and Madness

Past Projects

“Butt and his forces yield a dramatic, exactingly nuanced, profoundly considered reading, compelling in its integrity and text-driven immediacy.” BBC Music Magazine

Cryptic join forces with the wonderful The Dunedin Consort to celebrate Shakespeare and Cervante’s 400th anniversary with Purcell’s music to Don Quixote led by John Butt.

“Extraordinarily marvellous and fabulous, extremely delightful and satisfying.”

From a world in which windmills are giants and ordinary inns are castles, through the underwater kingdom of Neptune & Amphitrite, to an enchanted forest filled with fairies, the stories of Cervantes and Shakespeare are lifted off the page by Purcell’s theatrically rich musical settings. The Elizabethan literary landscapes of Don Quixote de la Mancha, The Tempest, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream are staged fusing sound, light, costume, and the beauty of the written word. Inspired by the theatrical spectacle and machinery, which lies at the heart of Restoration period theatre and opera, two singers embody the stories of these writers through voice and action, as they continually uncover moments of transformation within their costume.

Dramatised selections from:
Purcell: The Comical History of Don Quixote
Matthew Locke/Purcell: The Tempest
Purcell: The Fairy Queen

“The sublime music; the sublime playing; the fine quality of the dramaturgy, choreography and of course the singers and the singing – stupendo!” 

Performers: John Butt and Dunedin Consort;
Director: Josh Armstrong;
Lighting Designer: Dave Evans;

Soprano: Mhairi Lawson;
Bass: Matthew Brook

Performed at Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh; Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow (UK) and Templo de la Valenciana, Guanajuato, Mexico