Oberon – Unterseher

SSATB, unaccompanied

Oberon’s famous speech from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, describing in flowery detail his wicked plans. Dancing, spritely music that exposes Oberon’s delight in the nasty trick he is about to play on Titania.

Purchase on Reg’s web site


Oberon’s speech to Puck from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM shows him at a moment where he is particularly angry with Titania, and has decided to play a terrible trick on her. He expects to enjoy this trick very much, a lot more than he should. He tells Puck, who has just found the magic flower for him, where he will find Titania and cast the spell, a beautiful spot where she often sleeps. The flowers that are mentioned all have specific associations. Wild thyme is thought of as a favorite of the fairies. Oxlips are associated with sleep, and musk-roses are Titania’s favorite flower.

The music traces Oberon’s delight in the trick he is about to play in the dance-like rhythms, but also his deepening anger as the harmonies get darker and more harsh as he imagines Titania in the throes of his spell.


OBERON (to Puck)

Hast thou the flower there? …

I pray thee, give it me.
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
And with the juice of this I’ll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies…

—from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Act 2 Scene 1

by William Shakespeare

This entry was posted in 3. Medium, Choral, College/University Choir, Community Choir, Community College Choir, Difficulty Level, English, High school, Humorous, Language, SATB a capella, Secular and tagged by Reginald Unterseher. Bookmark the permalink.

About Reginald Unterseher

Reginald Unterseher is Music Director and Composer-in-Residence at Shalom United Church of Christ, Richland, Washington. His works are published by Oxford University Press, Walton Music, and through NW Choral Publishing at www.reginaldunterseher.com. He is the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association’s “Composer of the Year” for 2013. Mr. Unterseher’s compositions are regularly performed throughout the world and have been featured at ACDA and MENC conventions in the US as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He currently serves as Repertoire & Standards Chair for Men’s Choirs for the Northwest Division of the American Choral Director’s Association, and is in demand as a choral and vocal adjudicator and clinician. Mr. Untereseher is a past Artistic Director of Consort Columbia (now Mid-Columbia Mastersingers), founder and past Chorus Master of Washington East Opera, and an active member of Male Ensemble Northwest.