Dal Opera presents a double-bill



music by Henry Purcell, libretto by Nahum Tate


music by James Rolfe, libretto by André Alexis


February 6, 7, 8 at 7:30 pm
February 9 at 2:30 pm
Sir James Dunn Theatre

Since its first performance in 1689, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas has continued to engage audiences and endure as a gem in the operatic repertoire. Nahum Tate’s libretto recounts the story of refugees from the Trojan War and is a variation of Virgil’s epic poem Aeneid, book IV. In search for their new home, the Trojans have landed in Carthage, where an ill-fated love affair between its Queen (Dido) and the Trojan Prince (Aeneas) forces the Trojans further into the Mediterranean and Dido toward her lamentable doom.  

In the second half, we retell the same story from Aeneas’ point of view. Written in 2007 by Canadian opera composer James Rolfe, with a libretto by André Alexis, Aeneas and Dido allows us to experience the other side of the story. 

For both Purcell and Rolfe, movement and the masque tradition played a prominent role in their creations. In this vivacious realization, dance will propel the tragedy of love and abandonment through modern, choral movement that embodies the music.

Students from many areas of the Fountain School participate in the annual opera. All roles are sung in English by voice students, with costumes, set, props, lighting, sound, and stage management work by students in theatre programs. Set design is by Danielle Wilson.

The orchestra reduction is performed by pianist Jack Olszweski.