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Purcell: Dido and Æneas


Opera in staged version
  • Du vendredi 17 au dimanche 19 mars 2023
  • Royal Opera
  • 1h15 without intermission
Accueil Purcell: Dido and Æneas 2023


Helen Charlston Dido, Queen of Carthage

Ana Vieira Leite Belinda, her sister

Renato Dolcini Æneas, Prince of Troy, Magician

Maud Gnidzaz First witch

Virginie Thomas Second witch, secon woman

Jacob Lawrence Sailor

Michael Loughlin Smith A Spirit

Clément Debieuvre Alto

Padraic Rowan Bass

Daniel Brant Alto

Christophe Gautier Bass

Alizée Duvernois, Coline Fayolle, Gael Rougegrez, Julien Marie-Anne, Meggie Isabet et Victor Virnot Dansers

Les Arts Florissants Choir and orchestra

William Christie Musical direction

Compagnie Blanca Li

Blanca Li Directed and choreographed assisted by  Déborah Torres Garguilo and Glyslein Lefever

Pierre Attrait Dramaturgy

Evi Keller Set design and creation Matière-Lumière. Costume sculptures for solo singers in collaboration with Laurent Mercier

Pascal Laajili Lighting assisted by Jean-Luc Passarelli and Boris Pijetlovic

Laurent Mercier Costumes assisted by Ghjulia Giusti Muselli

Chloé Bellemère Scenography assistant



Few Baroque operas have had such a destiny and aroused such emotions over the centuries. Composed by Purcell – sometimes called the British Orpheus – this absolute masterpiece of English Baroque music tells the story of the sincere but unhappy love between Aeneas, the future founder of Rome, and Dido, Queen of Carthage. The ancient myth is uniquely relevant to the Baroque style: in 17th-century opera, it is the scorned woman who takes precedence over the man of action. Dido, the archetype of betrayal in love, inspired more than a hundred operatic works, from Cavalli to Britten. More than any other, she gives voice to the heart- rending song of the broken soul – as in the sublime final lamento written by Purcell (“When I am laid in earth”), today part of the collective imagery of despair.

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Very compact in form, Dido and Aeneas is an opera of astonishing variety, mixing pastoral, burlesque and tragedy. It is also one of the most beloved works of William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, who have often given it in concert; its last stage version was in 2009.


This new production of Dido and Aeneas, directed by the Madrid-based choreographer Blanca Li, is eagerly awaited. A member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Blanca Li already knows Les Arts Florissants well; she worked with them on Les Indes Galantes at the Opéra national de Paris in 1999. This project will also feature exceptional young soloists, selected among the laureates of the latest editions of Jardin des Voix, the young singers’ academy of Les Arts Florissants.


This new production will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the 2022-23 opera season!

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Opera in three acts with libretto by Nahum Tate, first performed in London in 1689.


New production


Henry Purcell: Dido and Æneas

Celestial Music Did The Gods Inspire, Z322

The Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles

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