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    Giacomo Carissimi

    Dido and Æneas 

    Henry Purcell

    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
    Photo de Maxim Emelyanychev © Andrej Grilc
    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 | harpsichord and 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