When Dido utters her doleful lament, »When I am laid in earth«, at the close of the opera, the dice have already fallen. A tragic web of love, loyalty, misunderstandings and intrigue has left her alone and forsaken. She is the mythical Queen of Carthage, and when the Trojan hero Aeneas, fleeing from war-torn Troy, arrives in her kingdom, the two – after some initial hesitation – fall deeply in love. Their romance, however, is soon to be destroyed by evil forces. Unable to resist, and misconstruing the others’ intentions, the two lovers are torn apart.
»Dido and Aeneas«, a unique work in the history of opera, exemplifies Purcell’s desire to dispense with the fireworks of Baroque coloratura aria in favour of a music with greater emotional force and intimacy.
In the new stage of the Semperoper Dresden, Semper 2 (rehearsal stage).
Opera in three acts by Henry Purcell. In English with German surtitles. 14 years and older.
Running time 1 hour
Premiere 12 Dec 2010