Remember me, but ah! Forget my fate’ sings Dido at the end of Purcell’s opera. But life isn’t always quite so straightforward, and some memories have a destiny of their own. Set several years after the Carthaginian queen’s death, Dido’s Ghost finds Dido’s sister Anna abandoned on the shores of Aeneas’s new kingdom, igniting a murderous jealously in Aeneas’s wife Lavinia – and as events play out, its characters confront a past that refuses to fade.
Co-commissioned by the Barbican, Buxton International Festival, Dunedin Consort and Mahogany Opera, Dido’s Ghost reframes, illuminates and expands Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which is performed in its entirety as a flashback within Wallen’s drama. Performed on period instruments, Dido’s Ghost bridges the gap between worlds, as past blurs into present and memory becomes emotion in this ambitious new commission.
Duration: 90 mins
It’s a stimulating piece of creation and adaptation, done to a very high standard indeed, and may even be remembered as one of the most striking and original artistic products of the Covid era.
Robert Beale, The Arts Desk
bold & moving, a piercing reminder of how the past haunts the present
a beguiling tapestry of fragmentary quotations and knowing gestures to an earlier music language, overlaid with a contemporary sonic palette
a bold reimagining of Purcell’s classic
Alexandra Coghlan, iNews
6 June 2021 – 22:00
Barbican Hall, Barbican Centre
11, 14, 17 July 2021 – 19:15
Buxton Opera House, Buxton International Festival
20, 21, 22 August 2021 – 19:30
Edinburgh Academy Junior School, Edinburgh International Festival
Co-commissioned by the Barbican, Buxton International Festival, Dunedin Consort, Edinburgh International Festival, Mahogany Opera and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale.
We are grateful to the support of Amati Global Investors, Hamish & Sophie Forsyth, Ian Hamilton, Prof. Ludmilla Jordanova, Anthony Newhouse, John & Madeleine Tattersall, Vaulkhard Douglas Home Music Trust, John & Carol Wates, Christian Wells, and to those donors who wish to remain anonymous.