Dido and Æneas 

Henry Purcell


Giacomo Carissimi

Joyce DiDonato, Andrew Staples and Maxim Emelyanychev invite us to a rare little English baroque gem.

Joyce DiDonato
Joyce DiDonato © Simon Pauly
Andrew Staples
Andrew Staples - DR
Maxim Emelyanychev
Maxim Emelyanychev © Andrej Grilc


Joyce DiDonato | Dido
Andrew Staples |  Æneas / Jephté
Fatma Saïd | Belinda
Beth Taylor | A Magician
Carlotta Colombo | Second woman / Filia
Alena Dantcheva | First Witch
Anna Piroli | Second Witch
Massimo Altieri | A sailor
Hugh Cutting | A spirit

Maxim Emelyanychev | direction
Il Pomo d’Oro


The programme for this evening is based around two baroque masterpieces. The first is a little gem from the English repertoire and the second is a rare Italian work. Dido is a chamber opera blending tragedy and comedy in an extremely subtle storyline. It is condensed into one hour, but this in no way detracts from the dramatic tension which culminates in Dido’s final lament. With Jepthté, we move away from Virgil and Purcell’s Æneas in favour of a biblical story which inspired a number of composers, notably Handel. Carissimi brings intense expressivity and dramatic effectiveness to bear in the Italian manner. Carissimi, about whom we know very little, was a protégé of several major church figures, and of Christina, Queen of Sweden in particular, for whom he wrote several secular works. We know that he was prolific, but much of his work was destroyed. A dozen Masses, over two hundred motets and about one hundred and thirty cantatas have survived. Joyce DiDonato and Andrew Staples will bring emotional depth to these two short but sublime works.

Production Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

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