Dido and Belinda

Dido and Belinda is the first show from Opera Q and Cor Unum Ensemble.  It’s a reimagining of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas from Belinda’s perspective and with a decidedly gender fluid twist.  Nathum Tate’s libretto is extended by spoken passages which give Belinda’s take on the story and make it very much  a story of the two sisters.  The back story is Dido’s flight from Tyre rather than Aeneas’ flight from Troy.  The future is about Belinda as Queen of Carthage not Aeneas’ “promised Empire”.  It works pretty well though I have reservations about interpolating text in the final scene.  I think Belinda’s accession as Dido’s successor could have been conveyed without interrupting some of the most sublime music ever composed.  That’s a minor quibble though in a story concept that works.

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