Jeremy Irons and Helen Mirren at the BlackCreek Summer Music Festival

Jeremy Irons and Helen Mirren performed with Lorin Maazel and the Castleton Festival Orchestra at the 2011 BlackCreek Summer Music Festival at the Rexall Centre in Toronto, Canada on 29 June.

Maestro Maazel conducts the Castleton Festival Orchestra and the women’s voices of the Castleton Festival Chorus in a wondrous romantic program of music inspired by Shakespeare: three excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, and Mendelssohn’s Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, highlighted by spoken performances of Shakespeare verses from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by two incomparable stars of both stage and motion pictures: the extraordinary pair of Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons.

Jeremy and Helen’s portion of the performance began after intermission.

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Jeremy Irons to read Shakespeare in Castleton Festival

April 7, 2011

Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons to read Shakespeare in Castleton Festival concert with Lorin Maazel

Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival seems to get classier every year. It’s also spreading more often beyond the enveloping beauty of the conductor’s estate in Rappahannock County, Virginia.

One of those stretches will find Maazel leading the Castelton Festival Orchestra — made up of top-notch young professionals — in “Music Inspired by Shakespeare” on June 30 at Strathmore.

In addition to “Romeo and Juliet”-inspired music by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev and Mendelssohn’s Incidental Music to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” there will be …

readings of Shakespeare by two of the most admired actors of our day: Dame Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons.

Tickets are $25-$150 and will be available through Strathmore’s Web site or by phone, 301-581-5100. Proceeds support the Lorin and Dietlinde Maazel’s Châteauville Foundation, which supports the festival and provides fellowships for participants from this country and abroad.

The Virginia portion of the festival, which runs June 25-July 24, includes productions of operas by Puccini, Ravel and Weill, among others, and several concerts.