s Dido and Aeneas – Collegium Vocale Gent

Collegium Vocale Gent


02/06/2023 — 20:30
Abbatiale | Saint-Florent-le-Vieil | FR
Henry Purcell [1659–1695]

Dido & Aeneas (Z.626)

Yetzabel Arias – Dido
Philipp Kaven – Aeneas
Lucia Martin Carton – Belinda
Bethany Taylor – Sorceress

Collegium Vocale Gent
Ricercar Consort
Philippe Pierlot


Dido and Aeneas


If there is one work with which Henry Purcell is repeatedly associated, it is the opera Dido and Aeneas. Purcell probably wrote the piece commissioned by the English court around 1683 but the actual premiere came in 1689. That is when choreographer and dance master Josias Priest created an adaptation for the girls at a boarding school in Chelsea. Based on the Roman poet Virgil’s Aeneas, Purcell depicts in an incredibly pithy way the dramatic encounter between the Carthaginian queen Dido and the Greek hero Aeneas: just as they are about to marry, witches falsely tell Aeneas that they have been told by the gods that his destiny, as the future founder of Rome, lies elsewhere. Aeneas decides to continue his wanderings, retraces his steps but fate is cruel: the resentful and desperate Dido says goodbye to life in the arms of her servant Belinda.