Dido & Aeneas (2015)

Project Summary

A semi-staged production of Purcell’s timeless opera based on a story from Virgil’s Aeneid. The piece was performed by GYO and 2 professional singers in the title roles. It was also reimagined as a Restoration allegory by Artistic Director and Vocal Consultant Mary King.

Synopsis

Aeneas has been shipwrecked and arrives in Carthage where he meets Dido, the recently widowed Queen, and they fall in love. The witches plot Dido’s destruction: they conjure up a storm to ruin a hunting party and a spirit impersonates Mercury in order to remind Aeneas of his duty to found a new Troy in Italy. The sailors and Aeneas leave and Dido, grief-stricken, kills herself.

Henry Purcell 1659-1695 lived at a time of great political and social upheaval: this production was set in the years following Charles II’s Restoration, when intrigue and scandal were part of daily courtly life.

Cast

Dido Kezia Bienek
Aeneas Nicholas Lester
Belinda Nell Parry
2nd Woman Laura Coppinger
Sorceress Rebecca Milford
1st Witch Beatrice Watkins
2nd Witch Eleri Jones
Spirit Theo Golden

Creative Team

Artistic Director Mary King
Musical Director Howard Moody
Movement Director Karen Edwards
Assistant Chorus Master Oliver-John Ruthven
Costume Designer Frankie Austin
Stage Manager Clare Partington
Lighting Designer Sam Jones