"What visions I have seen," declares Titania on awaking from her charmed amorous slumber with Bottom in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Michael Tippett?s opera 'The Midsummer Marriage has an ancient, ritual and magical aspect. It features a character called Kingfisher, based on the mythical Fisher King, and another, Sosostris, a name that appears as a ?famous clairvoyante?with a wicked pack of cards? in ?The Waste Land?
To complement this, in the interval of this evening's Prom performance, Steve Roud, one of the country's foremost authorities on British folklore and song, surveys the summer customs of Britain. He explains what they are and when, who is involved and suggests some meanings. His piece is illustrated with with recordings of events such as Crying the Neck in Cornwall, well-dressing in Derbyshire, and the solstice celebrations at Stonehenge.