Dido and Aeneas. An Opera Performed at Mr. Josias Priest’s Boarding School at Chelsea By Young Gentlewomen. The Words Made by Mr. Nahum Tate. Dido and Aeneas (Henry Purcell): Synopsis, Libretto, Highlights, MIDI, Noten, Sheet Music. Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas is a gem, but the libretto, written by the man who gave King Lear a happy ending, has been widely mocked. Not any.

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Dido and Belinda talk for a time: The prologue refers to the joy of a marriage between two monarchs, which could refer to the marriage between William and Mary. Some lines are so terse they sting “All that’s good you have forswore,” Dido spitswhile the witches carve an idiom of sheer grotesque: This is all stopped when Dido hears distant thunder, prompting Belinda to tell the servants to prepare for a return to shelter as soon as possible. Dido and Aeneas, too, is quiveringly alert to emotional pain.

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OPERA-GUIDE: Dido and Aeneas

Click to learn more. What storms, what battles did he sing? As new critical editions of the score appeared, and with the revival of interest in Baroque music, the number of productions steadily increased. When the spell is prepared, the witches vanish in a thunderclap.

Helen Eastman, directing English Touring Opera’s new production, suggests that the witches suffer from what she calls “Dido-envy”. Mark Morris, in his celebrated dance version ofplayed both Dido and the Sorceress, as if the self-destructive queen urged her own ruin. Boyden, Matthew et al. D E Dido und Aeneas Personen: Dido and Aeneas are accompanied by their train.

To Fate I sue, of other means bereft, The only refuge for the wretched left. I languish till my grief is known, Yet would not have it guess’d.

Dido and Aeneas – Wikipedia

Earth and Heaven conspire my fall. Flieg hin zu deinem versprochenen Reich, Und lass die verlassene Dido sterben. This pretend Mercury brings the command of Jove that Aeneas is to wait no longer in beginning his task of creating a new Troy on Latin soil. All the characters begin to clear the stage after a dance in three sections, and then disperse.


A version of the opera adapted to modern dance was choreographed by the American Mark Morrisligretto originally danced both the roles of Dido diddo the Sorceress. Tate enhanced the female characters in his Shakespeare adaptations, and puts the pain of love gone wrong at Dido’s centre.

Belinda, I am press’d With torment not to be confess’d, Peace and I are strangers grown. Dido and Aeneas Z. Details on Opera North’s website operanorth. Although the opera is a tragedy, there are numerous seemingly lighter scenes, such as the First Sailor’s song, “Take a boozy short leave of your nymphs on the shore, and silence their mourning with vows of returning, though never intending to visit them more. ACT I Dido, queen of Carthage, cannot bring herself to admit her love for the Trojan prince Aeneas, a guest at her court; he is soon to resume his journey in search of a site for a new city to replace Troy.

No score in Purcell’s hand is extant, and the only seventeenth-century source is a libretto, possibly from the original performance. They don’t do that any more.

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With this exposure comes the opportunity to see Tate’s libretto as no act of cultural vandalism, but rather a text that enabled Purcell to create a gem of concentrated emotion. They define his life and his art”Toronto Star9 Julyp. Tell us, how shall this be done? Aeneas parts from Dido, who kills herself once he has gone, her death lamented by mourning cupids.

The dates of the composition and first performance of the opera are uncertain. Elissa dies tonight, And Carthage flames tomorrow. The sailors sing a song, which is followed shortly by the Sorceress and her companions’ sudden appearance.

The opera opens with Dido in her court with her attendants. The earliest extant score, held in the Bodleian Librarywas copied no earlier thanwell over sixty years after the opera was composed. Putnam’s and Sons,pp. Her confidante Belinda and her courtiers persuade Dido to speak her love and the act ends with general rejoicing.


It’s what Shakespeare does with the porter’s scene in Macbeth. Who, like dismal ravens crying, Beat the windows of the dying, Appear! A lot of action is going on, with attendants carrying goods from the hunt and a picnic possibly taking place, and Dido and Aeneas are together within the activity.

Purcell responds feelingly to Tate’s hints and compact phrases. It has been plausibly suggested that Purcell’s short opera Dido and Aeneas was originally designed as a court masque, and possible topical political allusions have been proposed, notably in the light of the future James II’s Catholicism, seen to deflect him from his duty as a future king, a hypothetical intrigue that casts the Jesuits as witches. Virgil’s insistence on her widowhood and her commitment to remain chaste is largely absent.

Go revel, ye Cupids, the day is your own. His music makes valiant attempts to buck Dido up, while also lingering over her grief and confusion.

Beginning with Andrew Parrott ‘s recording for Chandos with the Taverner Consort and Playersthere was an increasing preference for a more genuine period sound. Bei der Erde und beim Himmel will ich klagen! Known to have been part of the score, it is now performed as a dance taken from other, similar works by Purcell, or invented outright in the same vein, to keep the integrity and continuity of the performance.

The composer, portrait by John Clostermanc. Mean wretches’ grief can touch, So soft, so sensible my breast; But ah! The storm duly breaks and the courtiers hasten back to town, while the false Mercury tells Aeneas he must leave Dido and sail for Italy.