Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Emmanuelle Haïm


An early example of English-language opera, Henry Purcell composed 'Dido and Aeneas' between 1683 and 1688. Now a mainstay of repertoire for period-instrument ensembles, its initial popularity faded during the 18th century. It experienced a revival in 1895 when it was performed by students of London's Royal College of Music to mark the bicentenary of Purcell's death. 'Dido and Aeneas' is based on Virgil's Aeneid and inspired by John Blow's opera 'Venus and Adonis'. In three acts, the story loosely follows the tale of the 'Aeneid', but with the introduction of extra characters. These new additions, the Sorceress and her witches, may be seen as an allegory for Roman Catholicism and Dido as the British subjects, with Aeneas as King James II. Dido and Aeneas has been extensively recorded by English ensembles, but our choice of recording features a French director and ensemble with an international cast of singers. Emmanuelle Haïm's Le Concert d'Astrée recorded this album in 1993, and received plaudits from BBC Music Magazine for their passionate and emotional interpretation. read more


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    Record Label

    Warner Classics




    Daniel Zalay

    Balance Engineer

    Jean Chatauret

    Balance Engineer

    Jiri Heger