A Midsummer Night's Dream was Benjamin Britten's seventh major opera and had its premiere in 1960. Britten and his partner Peter Pears adapted ... Show synopsis A Midsummer Night's Dream was Benjamin Britten's seventh major opera and had its premiere in 1960. Britten and his partner Peter Pears adapted Shakespeare's much-loved comedy, using (with the exception of only one line) Shakespeare's own text, as well as cutting and simplifying the play. This newly commissioned opera guide has an essay which explores the unique process of the opera's composition, including passages of recently published material from Britten's own correspondence. Other essays examine the magical sound world that Britten created for this work, as well as documenting Britten's own response to productions of the opera during his lifetime. A further essay assesses the place of the work in relation to the rest of Britten's oeuvre.