Henry Purcell (1689)
Aeneas, a Trojan prince who has escaped the devastation of his city at the hands of the Greeks, lands in Carthage where Dido is queen. She falls deeply in love with him, but evil forces are at work, bent on her destruction. Aeneas is tricked into abandoning her, and overwhelmed with grief, she dies.
Purcell takes a universal epic and makes of it an intimate human drama, packing a magnificently rich variety of music into the work’s hour-long duration, much of it composed expressly to be danced. This concise masterpiece stood unchallenged as the finest English opera for more than three centuries and there is still no more powerfully moving expression of noble resignation in the face of death than Dido’s great lament ‘When I am laid in earth’.
Aletta Collins directs this new production. Pamela Helen Stephen, who sang the title role in Opera North’s recent production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare, heads the cast that also includes Amy Freston, Heather Shipp and Jake Arditti.
Sung in English
Lasts approximately 1 hour
Dido and Aeneas is presented in a double-bill with La Voix Humaine with a 25 minute interval between the productions.