William Christie

The Fairy Queen kicks off BAM's Opera Festival

Article: The Fairy Queen kicks off BAM's Opera Festival

“It’s like opera on acid,” I overheard a woman say at intermission. She was probably talking about the stage-full of humping bunny rabbits – that’s actors dressed in full-body Easter bunny costumes happily humping away about two hours into Henry Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen.” There’s lots of classic opera staging too, like the scene in the photo above with set pieces that descend and separate to expose a courtly, bewigged rider atop his golden-winged horse. That’s part of the thrill of this particular production: it exists in no time. Actors are dressed in costumes that reference parliamentary England or the midcentury American housewife but most costumes defy reference to any time at all.