We are looking imensely forward to Todd Denning's portrayal of Oberon in our production this summer.
But, did you know the origins of Oberon in the first place?
According to Wikipedia, he's believed to have arisen as king of the fairies in the form of Alberich (from Old High Germanalb- "elf" and -rîh-, "ruler", "king"), a sorcerer in legends of the Merovingian dynasty of the Franks in post-Roman Gaul and parts of Germania. Alberich is "the otherworldly 'brother' of Merowech, whose name is the eponym of the Merovingians but whose actual existence is unproven." Which is to say that he seems to have been an important part of their family "origin story."
Tales of Alberich spread through the region, and he crops up again in a Burgundian poem, the Nibelungenlied, several centuries later -- guarding a treasure, but ultimately defeated by the Norse hero Siegfried.
By the name we know him, Oberon dates at least to the early-13th century where he appears as a fairy dwarf who helps the hero in the epic poem Les Prouesses et faitz du noble Huon de Bordeaux. In brief, Huon, son of Seguin count of Bordeaux, passes through the forest, he is warned against Oberon by a hermit. But, when Oberon greets him, hel politely responds, and thereby gains the fairy's aid in his quest.
From there, Oberon wends his way through numerous other tales, performing whatever dramatic acts the story might necessitate. Thomas Bulfinch (of the mythology compilation fame) offers a story in which Oberon appears as the offspring of Morgan LeFey and Julius Ceasar!
"Shakespeare saw or heard of the French heroic song, through the c. 1540 translation of John Bourchier, Lord Berners, called Huon of Burdeuxe. In Philip Henslowe's diary there is a note of a performance of a play, Hewen of Burdocize, on December 28, 1593."
And, finally...other historical references:
Oberon is a character in The Scottish History of James IV, a play written c. 1590 by Robert Greene.
Christoph Martin Wieland first published his epic poem Oberon in 1780; it in turn became the basis (as indicated on the title page) for the German opera Huon and Amanda (Hüon und Amande in German), later known as Oberon, by Sophie Seyler. A plagiarized version of Seyler's opera called Oberon by Karl Ludwig Giesecke with music by Paul Wranitzky debuted in Vienna shortly afterwards. Both operas enjoyed popularity. After extensive performances of the Giesecke version at the coronation ofLeopold II in Frankfurt in 1791, it was much performed in Europe until it was surpassed in popularity by Weber's opera Oberon.
Oberon was a popular name for fairy familiars in 15th- and 16th-century England.
Oberon is the name of the patriarch of the royal family of Amber, in the book series "The Chronicles of Amber," by Roger Zelazny.
A fanciful etymology was given for the name Oberon by Charles Mackay in his book The Gaelic Etymology of the Languages of Western Europe along with many other theories on words found in the English language that have not found mainstream acceptance.