Dido and Æneas - Teatro La Fenice


Dido and Æneas

Henry Purcell
La Fenice Opera House

Dido and Æneas

Dido and Aeneas is an opera in a prologue and three acts, written by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell with a libretto by Nahum Tate. The dates of the composition and first performance of the opera are uncertain. It was composed no later than July 1688,and had been performed at Josias Priest’s girls’ school in London by the end of 1689.Some scholars argue for a date of composition as early as 1683.The story is based on Book IV of Virgil’s Aeneid.It recounts the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her. A monumental work in Baroque opera, Dido and Aeneas is remembered as one of Purcell’s foremost theatrical works.It was also Purcell’s only true opera, as well as his only all-sung dramatic work. One of the earliest known English operas, it owes much to John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, both in structure and in overall effect.

The influence of Cavalli’s opera Didone is also apparent. Both works use the prologue/three acts format and there are similarities between, for instance, Mercury’s solo in Didone and the solo “Come away fellow sailors” in Purcell’s work.


Conductor Tito Ceccherini
Director and choreography Giovanni Di Cicco
Sets Massimo Checchetto
Costumes Carlos Tieppo
Lighting Fabio Barettin


Dido Giuseppina Bridelli
Belinda Michela Antenucci
Handmaiden Martina Licari
Sorceress Valeria Girardello
First Witch Lara Lagni
Second Witch Chiara Brunello
Mercurio/ Sailor Matteo Roma
Aeneas Antonio Poli


La Fenice Orchestra and Choir
Chorus Master Claudio Marino Moretti


Alessandro Zanardi cello
Dario Pisasale, Francesco Tomasi tiorba, arciliuto, baroque guitar
Luca Oberti harpsichord, organo positivo


Melissa Cosseta, Angelica Mattiazzi, Alice Pan, Fabio Caputo
Associazione Deos Danse Ensemble Opera Studio

The perfomance lasts about 1 hour

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