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Purcell's Dido

Luke Skeaping presents a profile of Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas, the love story between the Queen of Carthage and her Trojan hero.

Lucie Skeaping presents a profile of one of the earliest and best-known English operas - Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas", the love story of the Queen of Carthage and her Trojan hero. Set to a libretto by Nahum Tate, Dido and Aeneas was first performed in Chelsea in July 1688, and although it wasn't staged again in the composer's lifetime, it received a brief revival in 1700 and then disappeared completely as a staged work, with only sporadic concert performances until 1895 when the first staged version in modern times was performed by students of the Royal College of Music at London's Lyceum Theatre to mark the bicentenary of Purcell's death. It has since become one of the most frequently staged operas all over the world.

58 minutes

Music Played

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  • Henry Purcell

    Overture to 'Dido and Aeneas'

    Orchestra: Il Giardino Armonico. Conductor: Giovanni Antonini.

    Performers: Le Concert Spirituel, Herve Niquet (director)

    • GLOSSA.
    • GCD 921601.
  • Henry Purcell

    'Shake the cloud from off your brow'…'Ah Belinda, I languish till my grief be known' from

    Performers: Sophie Marin-Degor, Veronique Gens, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie (director)

    • ERATO.
    • 4509-98477-2.
  • Henry Purcell

    'Fear no danger…' from 'Dido and Aeneas', Act 1

    Performers: Lisa Saffer, Donna Deam, Choir of Clare College Cambridge, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan (conductor)

    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • HMU 907110.
  • Henry Purcell

    'If not for mine for empire's sake'….'Pursue thy conquest love; 'To the Hills and the Vale

    Performers: John Shirley-Quirk, Helen Donath, The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Colin Davis (conductor)

    • PHILIPS.
    • 446 577-2.
  • Henry Purcell

    Prelude, 'Wayward sisters…' from 'Dido and Aeneas', Act 2

    Performers: Jennifer Lane, Sari Saunders, Meredith Hall, Tafelmusick, Jeanne Lamon (director)

    • CBC RECORDS.
    • SMCD5147.
  • Henry Purcell

    'But ere we this perform'…Echo Dance of Furies from 'Dido and Aeneas', Act 2

    Performers: Kate Eckersley, Lucie Skeaping, Taverner Choir & Players, Andrew Parrott (director)

    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • SK 62993.
  • Henry Purcell

    Behold, upon my bending spear…' to the end of Act 2, 'Dido and Aeneas

    Performers: Peter Harvey, Donna Deam, St James’s Singer, Ivor Bolton (conductor)

    • TELDEC.
    • 4509 911912.
  • Henry Purcell

    'It is the gods' decree that I should part…' from 'Dido and Aeneas', Act 3

    Performers: Douglas Wootton, Taverner Choir & Players, Andrew Parrott (director)

    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • SK 62993.
  • Henry Purcell

    'Your counsel is urged in vain…' from 'Dido and Aeneas', Act 3

    Performers: Lynne Dawson, Rosemary Joshua, Gerald Finley, The Choir of Clare College Chapel, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, René Jacobs (conductor)

    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • HMC 901683.
  • Henry Purcell

    'Thy hand Belinda', Dido's Lament and Chorus 'With drooping wings' from 'Dido and Aeneas',

    Performers: Anne Sofie von Otter, The English Concert, Choir of the English Concert, Trevor Pinnock (director)

    • ARCHIV.
    • 427 624-2.
  • Henry Purcell

    Dido & Aeneas - Overture

  • Henry Purcell

    Dido & Aeneas - Act I

  • Henry Purcell

    Dido & Aeneas - Act II

  • Henry Purcell

    Dido & Aeneas - Act III

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