Press Release

Press Release


2021 Digital Season single stream tickets are available starting today, offering 72-hour access for $29

Press must RSVP to review the opening night stream of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Wednesday, January 20 at 12 pm PST

SAN FRANCISCO, JANUARY 19, 2021—San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) launches the 2021 Digital Season on January 21 with George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed on stage at the War Memorial Opera House in March of 2020. A tale of love, magic, and revelry that’s fun for the entire family, the full-length ballet includes some of Shakespeare’s best-known characters, including Titania, Oberon, Puck, and donkey-headed Bottom—providing more than 100 roles in all, including 14 leading parts and a cast of 25 children. “I think Balanchine did such a superb job with Midsummer,” says Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, who danced as Oberon, King of the Fairies, with New York City Ballet in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. “It has humor. It has suspense. It has love. And even if you are not a ballet aficionado, you immediately understand what’s going on.” Click here to watch the trailer for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

On March 6, 2020, SF Ballet gave one performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Company’s first performance of the ballet in 34 years, before the production abruptly closed as a result of the city-wide shutdown due to COVID-19. Bay Area Reporter deemed the performance “the best dancing, the best of everything . . . [with] new pleasures of many kinds.” Midsummer, which was Balanchine’s first original full-length ballet, features non-stop dancing and distills Shakespeare’s five acts into two. When Titania, the Queen of Fairies, refuses to give up her young page, King Oberon enlists the trickster Puck to stir up some magic, causing a domino effect among fairy and human couples alike. Repetiteur Sandra Jennings of The George Balanchine Trust staged the production, which includes woodland scenes and costumes designed by Tony Award-winner Martin Pakledinaz, a longtime SF Ballet collaborator whose work can be seen in the Company’s productions of Nutcracker and Don Quixote, and celestial lighting designed by Randall G. ChiarelliMidsummer’s cast of fairies, mortals, bugs, and mis-matched lovers is set to music by Felix Mendelssohn, performed by the SF Ballet Orchestra and Bay Area-based vocal ensemble Volti under the direction of SF Ballet Music Director Martin West.

Images of A Midsummer Night’s Dream are available at this link, and casting is available here. Please contact Kate McKinney at kmckinney@sfballet.org for all press inquiries. Opening night review inquiries must be submitted no later than 12 pm PT on Wednesday, January 20.

Calendar information:

Program 01: A Midsummer Night’s Dream tickets are available now as single stream tickets for $29, or within the Premium Plus Digital Package, which offers access to all seven programs in the 2021 Digital Season, in addition to exclusive bonus content, for $289. Tickets and packages may be purchased online at www.sfballet.org. For more information, call Ticket Services at 415-865-2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Click here to view digital viewing tips.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ballet in Two Acts and Six Scenes 

Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
Choreography: George Balanchine
Staged by: Sandra Jennings
Additional Coaching by: Helgi Tomasson
Scenic & Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli
Film Director: Frank Zamacona

World Premiere: January 17, 1962—New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama; New York, New York

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 12, 1985—War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

© The George Balanchine Trust

Music: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, Op. 21; selections from A Midsummer Night’s Dream Incidental Music, Op. 61; Overture to Athalie, Op. 74; The Fair Melusine Overture, Op. 32; Overture to The First Walpurgis Night, Op. 60; Allegro and Andante from Symphony No. 9 for Strings; Son and Stranger Overture, Op. 89. This performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a Balanchine© Ballet, is presented by arrangement with the George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style© and Balanchine Technique© service standards established and provided by the Trust. Scenery, Properties, and Costumes Courtesy of PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET, Peter Boal, Artistic Director.

This presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is made possible by Lead Sponsors Dr. Sunnie Evers, Thomas E. Horn, Marie and Barry Lipman, Mr. James D. Marver, Christine Russell and Mark Schlesinger, Judy C. Swanson, and Diane B. Wilsey; Major Sponsors Kathleen Scutchfield, and Jennifer and Steven Walske; and Sponsors Anonymous, John G. Capo and Orlando Diaz-Azcuy, Ms. Laura Clifford, Drs. Richard D. and Patricia Gibbs, Dr. Jane Gitschier, and Mr. and Mrs. Norman C. Pease.

San Francisco Ballet, long recognized for pushing boundaries in dance, has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. SF Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States and currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. The mission of SF Ballet is to share its joy of dance with the widest possible audience—in its community and worldwide—and to provide the highest caliber of dance training in its School. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world.