Titania awakes clinging rapturously to Bottom, still wearing the donkey's head, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mendelssohn wrote music for a production of the play in 1843. Henry Fuseli/Getty Images hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

Marin Alsop's Guide To Mendelssohn's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Inspired by Shakespeare, Mendelssohn captures all the magic and frivolity in the music he wrote for the Bard's otherworldy play.

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Celebrated conductor Claudio Abbado in 1979 in his native Milan, during his tenure as music director of the city's famed opera house, La Scala. Giorgio Lotti/Mondadori/Getty Images hide caption

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Don't be caught fishing for facts about Verdi on the bicentennial of his birth. Getty Images/DeAgostini hide caption

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Claudio Abbado conducts this concert performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio" at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland. Peter Fischli/Lucerne Festival hide caption

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