Dido & Aeneas Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30pm



Sung in English.

Based on the love story from Virgil's Aeneid, this English baroque tragic masterpiece features magnificent music, potent drama, and remarkable intensity.

Featuring the Theatre of Early Music Ensemble under the direction of Daniel Taylor, with the Ensemble-in-Residence, Baroque Institute, Conservatoire de musique de Montreal, this semi-staged production will be presented in the intimate setting of Westminster United Church.

The program will also include a short concert of early music.

The Story

Dido and Aeneas tells the tale of the legendary Queen of Carthage, Dido, and the Trojan refugee prince, Aeneas. When Aeneas and his crew become shipwrecked in Carthage, he and the Queen fall in love. In the meantime, witches plot Dido's destruction. The Sorceress has one of her coven impersonate Mercury who tells Aeneas he must leave Dido and found the new Troy (Rome). Forced to choose between passion and duty, Aeneas and his sailors prepare to leave, much to the witches' delight. Dido, who cannot live without him, is absolutely heartbroken and awaits death.

The Libretto

Click here to read the full libretto and programme notes.

The Music
  • One of England's finest operatic works by one of the country's leading operatic composers.
  • Dido's lament, "When I am laid in earth" is one of opera's most moving expressions of sorrow and has been called one of the greatest arias in the history of music.
  • The libretto is considered to be the most perfect short opera libretto ever written.
Noemi Kiss
Alexander Dobson
Daniel Taylor Hits a High Note.

By Robert Vineberg, Manitoba Opera, Board of Trustees

Opera Matters explores the background to the operas produced by Manitoba Opera and what was happening in the world and in Winnipeg at the time of those operas.

The story of Dido and Aeneas comes from Virgil’s Aineid.  Aeneas is the Trojan hero, who had to flee his homeland, following the Greek capture and sack of Troy.  On his way to his destiny (founding Rome) he was storm-tossed onto the shores of Carthage.  The opera is a classic “boy meets girl” love story, except that the girl happens to be the Queen of Carthage and it ends sadly, not because one dies in a duel or the other dies of consumption; but because the Gods remind Aeneas of his sacred task of founding the empire that, ironically, would eventually destroy Carthage and he leaves Dido. (more...)


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