Love Looks with the Mind

This is a model that was created by Playhouse on the Square to illustrate the stage set for the production of a Midsummer Night's Dream.

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”

–William Shakespeare

That pretty much summarizes a Midsummer Night’s  Dream, the dream of an a cappella opera that  our vocal band has been dreaming since the fall of 2010.

Our first vision of the operapella  came to us via composer, Michael Ching,  when we prepared to sing a snippet  for So-Jam at Duke University, an annual college a cappella convention of sorts,  drawing singers from the Eastern side of the U. S. and featuring some outstanding touring a cappella vocal bands.  The  Contemporary A Cappella League, a group of post graduate singers from all over the country, has piggybacked its own conference  onto in the last couple of years.

The hummable, memorable tune that we performed at the conference  could be called, “I Do Not Lie”, and is a lyrical and spirited duet in which the guy, Lysander, and the girl, Hermia,  discuss the evening’s sleeping arrangements–he sure sounds sincere, but still,  she wonders, is he? Either way, she decides that if he is being truthful, then he can simply cool his jets a little while longer and be a proper gentleman, to which  he gently agrees, although he is sticking to his guns all the while, repeating earnestly, “I do not lie.”

Since this fall, and especially this month,  the production of the opera has overtaken all of our lives. To be truthful, we had a notion of what it would be like, but even so, none of us realized how much of our time would be usurped in the vortex of rehearsals and performances.

Another view of the stage set.

Everyone has put everything they have into this production of a Midsummer’s Night Dream, from the folks at Opera Memphis, to the talented people at Playhouse on the Square, and of course DeltaCappella and RIVA.

Milton Foley was my  college English  professor who  made the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare assume such a  moral vitality that they  rearranged my mental  molecules–as well as my spirit. Shakespeare  changed my life then, and made me a better person. I saw things differently after I took that course.

And now, here comes old Will, again. He’d like that line.

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”

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