We've just finished auditions for Iford's "Fairy Queen" of Purcell to be produced next summer. It was a thrill to finally meet the brilliant Christian Curnyn who will be our music director, and even more thrilling to have such a high level in the auditions. This "Fairy Queen" will include nearly 90% of Shakespeare's text from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", all spoken by the singers (something not part of the dramatick opera tradition), which means finding singers that can act, and act Shakespeare at that. With limited rehearsal time, there won't be enough space for me to teach scansion and Shakespeare delivery, so its important to get exactly the right cast that can hit the ground running. I was overjoyed to find the level so high in the auditions and to select a cast that I think is going to knock the socks off of Iford audiences. Its a completely new version of the piece, one I've made myself adding extra music by Purcell, reording the Shakespeare, and making a contemporary reality out of this funny but amazing 17th century masterpiece. The score and script are almost done and we've selected a cast!