Dido & Aeneas

Henry Purcell

31 Mar, 19 - 04 Apr, 19

Musical conductor: Christopher Moulds

1H45

NO BREAK

31 Mar 19

Premiere Date

04 Apr 19

Last Performance

4

Performances

The zenith of English Baroque opera, Dido & Aeneas comes to the stage of the Teatro Real for the first time in a striking production of opera and dance. Regarded by some as the successor of Pina Bausch, Sasha Waltz reinterprets Henry Purcell’s opera with her characteristic choreographic language. Christopher Moulds conducts the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and a cast led by Marie-Claude Chappuis and Nikolay Borchev in four performances of this creative and transgressive spectacle.


Tragic opera in three acts and a prologue

Music by Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Libretto by Nahum Tate, after his play Brutus of Alba, or the Enchanted Lovers (1678) and Book IV of the Aeneid (29-19 BC) by Virgil

First known performance at the Josias Priest's girls' school in Chelsea in December 1689
Premiered at the Teatro Real in concert version on 18 November 2013

Production by Sasha Waltz & Guests y la Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, in co-production with Staatsoper Berlin, the Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg and the Opéra national de Montepellier

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Vocalconsort Berlin

Language

Italiano

Subtitles in

Español, Inglés

               

Synopsis of Dido & Aeneas

To create a choreography for an opera is one of the many borders that Sasha Waltz decided to cross, and for this occasion she has gone to the extreme opposite of the contemporary nature that defines her company; the chosen work is undoubtedly one of the summits in opera- certainly the queen of English baroque –reinterpreted under the special prism of the German artist. Through this work, she continues her persevering investigation on bodies and space, displaying her characteristic dance, as rigorous as creative. In this manner her Dido & Aeneas offers powerful images and moments that linger, remaining a long time after leaving the theatre.

Prologue

Febo, god of the Sun, rises over the sea riding his chariot. Together with the Nereids, he sings to mark the arrival of Venus. The observer and the narrators dive under the waves and discover, on the seabed, the city of Carthage.

Act I

At the Palace – arrival of the cortege

Aeneas, the Trojan hero, has fled burning Troy, carrying his father over his shoulders and abandoning his young son Ascanius. Zeus has commanded him to sail to Italy and found a new city with the surviving Trojans. Sailing across the Mediterranean, the Trojans reach Carthage. The city is governed by Queen Dido, who, after the death of her husband, has vowed never to marry again. She devotes all her efforts to guarantee the wellbeing of her people. Dido hosts a banquet to honour Aeneas and falls for him, but she is besieged by doubts. Her sister Belinda comforts her and assures her that the Trojan too is in love with her.

Act II

Witches scene – The hunters

The witches have gathered in a cavern. Their leader orders the destruction of Carthage to punish Dido and Aeneas for their negligence. A sorceress shares the news that Aeneas and Dido have gone hunting. She is requested to disguise as Mercury and tell Aeneas of Zeus’ command for him to leave for Italy immediately. The other witches unleash a storm so the hunters are obliged to return to the city. Meanwhile, Belinda and the rest of the cortege enjoy the beauty of the Sacred Cavern. The sorceress interrupts them and warns them that they are in a haunted place. Dido enters, followed by Aeneas, who has killed a robust wild boar. As soon as the two lovers return together to the tent, the storm breaks. They all return to the city in a haste except for Aeneas. The witches, disguised as Mercury, insist that the command is for him to leave for Italy immediately. The hero is devastated, but willing to fulfil his duty.

Act III

The sailors – Witches scene II – Dido’s Lament

The Trojans prepare to sail. The witches reveal themselves before the unhappy Queen. Dido considers Aeneas’ sorrow as a divine punishment for having breached her vow. When Aeneas volunteers to renege on his mandate, she refuses. She realises that her personal desires will not be fulfilled, and the couple accepts their fate, sacrifying their love. Belinda’s words provide little consolation. While Aeneas leaves with his cohort, Dido abandons herself to death.

Show functions

  • Date/hour
  • Space
  • Cast
  • Subscription ticket

31 March 2019

20:00

Main Auditorium

Marie-Claude Chappuis, Aphrodite Patoulidou, Nikolay Borchev, Yannis François, Luciana Mancini
Subscription tickets E

01 April 2019

20:00

Main Auditorium

Marie-Claude Chappuis, Aphrodite Patoulidou, Nikolay Borchev, Yannis François, Luciana Mancini
Subscription tickets X

03 April 2019

20:00

Main Auditorium

Marie-Claude Chappuis, Aphrodite Patoulidou, Nikolay Borchev, Yannis François, Luciana Mancini
Subscription tickets A

04 April 2019

20:00

Main Auditorium

Marie-Claude Chappuis, Aphrodite Patoulidou, Nikolay Borchev, Yannis François, Luciana Mancini
Subscription tickets D

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