I was lucky enough to experience the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s performance of Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. I began sketching before I’d entered the building, the towering domed roof and grand sculptured entrances demanded I put pencil to paper.
Once inside, sitting high in the gods, my excursion on the stairs was rewarded with a fantastic view of the stage and the quickly filling seats below. I imagined spending hours sketching just the walls in this beautiful auditorium. Ornate detailing and powerful pillars decorate and frame the stage superbly.
Suddenly a hush descended on the crowd and on walked the conductor Sir Roger Norrington to join the waiting orchestra. Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream was both powerful and incredibly delicate, huge blasts of sound elevating out from the stage followed by the most enchanting flute solos that made me stop sketching and simply stare down in amazement. Energy and emotion that I tried to capture in my drawing.
Punctuated with readings from actors Jimmy Yuill and Maureen Beattie, whose voices bellowed from the stage, the music culminated in the famous ‘Wedding March’ and brought a resounding and lengthy round of applause to all those on stage. Once again I put down my pen and gave thanks for a wonderful experience.