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Delve deeper into our new co-commission, Dido's Ghost...

Mahogany Opera has a distinctive role in UK opera centred around an approach to development that is deeply collaborative and bring us together with artists and other organisations to redefine how new work is created. We are thrilled to be working with the acclaimed baroque ensemble Dunedin Consort and the Barbican in co-commissioning Errollyn Wallen's new opera Dido's Ghost!

Dido’s Ghost has emerged from more than 10 years of conversation between Errollyn Wallen and the librettist and singer-songwriter-author Wesley Stace. Now, with the exceptional talent of soprano Golda Schultz, Dunedin Consort, and our own artistic director Freddie Wake-Walker, Errollyn and Wes’s vision is coming to life.    

Errollyn tells us that the opera is, for her, a deep and respectful conversation with the early baroque, not simply a framing of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas but a dialogue between old and new. She says, “Purcell’s opera has stood as both a colossus and a provocation to me. How can I now weave into the story even more layers of emotion and story-telling…and make this new work speak truly to our times?”

Performed on period instruments by Dunedin Consort, Dido’s Ghost will bridge worlds, blurring past and present, creating a distinctive new classic. You can book your tickets for the premiere of Dido's Ghost at the Barbican on 5th June 2021.

Errollyn and Wes have shared a couple of their sources for the new opera so if you'd like to delve deeper into this tragic love story, please take a look at some recommendations below:

Choreorgrapher Mark Morris' adaptation of Purcell's Opera
famously presented with singers in the orchestra pit - focused on the dancers - a masterpiece.

Uncovering Anna Perenna - ed. Sarah McCallum, Gwynaeth McIntyre
scholarly set of essays evaulating all we know about Anna, our heroine, throughout the various conflicting myths and history.

Lavinia - Ursula Le Guin
a novel about Aeneas’ wife, an otherwise unexplored and under-described character and key to our story.

Vergil’s Latium - Bertha Tilly
a pioneering 20th Century first person trek, mapping the actual sites of the Aeneid.

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