Purcell wrote this opera on a libretto by Nahum Tate for a School for Young Gentlewomen in Chelsea, London, England. It was first performed at the school in 1689, probably with Henry Purcell conducting from the harpsichord, which was the custom of the time. It was not staged as an opera until 1895 when the bicventenary of the composer’s death was celebrated by a performance given by students of the Royal College of Music. To date there are still several different editions of the opera available. The librettist, Tate, takes several liberties with the Virgil story.
Sarah Gottlieb, who plays Belinda, and Emily Stevens, who plays the Sorceress, discuss the story Dido and Aeneas, how that compares to the opera, and why you should go see it!
Lewis and Clark’s talented singers will perform all the roles. Ariana Lenarsky, senior, is Dido; Aeneas is played by junior John Vissell; Dido’s sister, Belinda (or lady in waiting, depending on the version) is sung by sophomore Sarah Gottlieb; the Sorceress is junior, Emily Stevens and her coven of witches includes Anna Moore, Celine He, and Carolyn Worthge. The evil Spirit is Alison Stake and Claire Rogers is one of Dido’s entourage. The sailor is played by Alex Lenarsky. The chorus will be taken from members of Cappella Nova.
Vocal director and conductor is Susan McBerry.
Stage Director is visiting scholar, Philip Parr from London, England.
Vocal coaching by Jane Streeton, head of vocal studies at Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England.