Michael Ching: A Midsummer Night’s Dream–opera a capella

Opera Memphis, Playhouse on the Square, DeltaCappella & Riva, Curtis Tucker

Catalog #: TROY1507-08
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Format: Digital

An opera without an orchestra? Composer Michael Ching's A Midsummer Night's Dream - opera a cappella deploys a "voicestra" of a cappella singers rather than instruments in the pit. Heidi Waleson of the Wall Street Journal wrote in her review that this "remarkably inventive opera is a celebration of what voices can do and still, with the exception of a few startling vocal percussion effects, sound like voices. The voicestra supports the singers on stage, its overlapping lines and syllables weaving around them, amplifying their characters and conflicts, sometimes echoing their words (or even their thoughts) or supplying atmosphere." MSND features the original Opera Memphis cast production of January 2011, produced by DeltaCappella, mastered by Tony Huerta, and recorded in legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, The result is a spellbinding blend of voices that uniquely captures the romance and otherworldliness of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream for today's audiences. The passion and finesse of opera, the vernacular phrasing of musical theatre, and the organic voicing of contemporary a cappella all combine to create a unique and powerful fusion of traditions that provide a novel and beautiful listening experience that illuminates the libretto with what Waleson calls "a human dimension."


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
A Midsummer Night's Dream — opera a cappella Michael Ching Jeremiah Johnson; Jennifer Goode Cooper; Kent Fleshman; John Dooley; Laura Stracko; Emily bodkin; Kristin Vienneau; Kyle Huey; Robert Legge; Toney Walsh III; Charles Ponder; Thomas "TeKay" King; Abby Walsh; James Riddick; Tom Watkins; Nicole Hale; Kip Long; Ebone Amos; Heather Jenkins; Jay Mednikow; DeltaCappella; Riva; Curtis Tucker, conductor


  • TROY1507/08 "The singing by the Memphis vocal groups DeltaCappella and Riva makes you smile as it melds classical, pop, and Broadway styles into a perfect unity and the effortless virtuos-ity of this live performance suggests that it had Puck's blessings."

    – Iowa Public Radio

  • "This is crazy and utterly amazing....It is a tribute to [Michael] Ching's ability that this works so well. His setting of the Shakespeare seems intuitively right. ...Performance levels are of the very highest. ...In summary, this is a magnificent achievement...It is not just the sheer fun and slickness of performance that impresses, it is the fact that one can return to this again and again and find new layers of meaning and, indeed, new felicities of setting and scoring."

    – Fanfare

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