Cape Town Opera collaborated with Stellenbosch University’s Music and Drama Departments for the first time on this production for US Woordfees 2018, and award-winning writer Wessel Pretorius reflected this in the script. Wittily echoing the plot of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, it is set in the music and drama departments of the University, meaning – perhaps for the first time in this opera – many of the characters are Afrikaans.

So yes, says Swerdlow “we have a bit to say about university politics and the new colonialism, but essentially it is about personal relationships … a good-natured comic romp.”

Pretorius agrees. He describes Swerdlow’s concept as “very modern and tongue-in-cheek, so no one needs to feel intimidated by the preciousness of classicists when they consider buying a ticket.”

With striking designs by Michael Mitchell, Maritha Visagie and Kobus Rossouw, created especially for the Spier Amphitheatre, and choreography by Sibonakaliso Ndaba, Cape Town Opera’s The Fairy Queen is an evening of Baroque opera at its most entertaining, for old hands and opera virgins alike.