2 October: Dido and Aeneas


The Cultural Centre of Thessaloniki of the region of Central Macedonia
Thessaloniki City Symphony Orchestra

Composed by the great British composer Henry Pursell, "Dido and Aeneas" is one of the masterpieces of the baroque era. The Greek myth of the Queen of Carthage and her love with the Trojan Aeneas, was the base of the storyline of the opera. Having all the components of a fairytale, it captures the imagination of the audience who follow the story to its dramatic finale. 

The production, having had 8 performances and more than 9000 audiences, was the big music event for the Cultural Centre of the Regional Government on Central Macedonia (R.G.C.M.) for the previous year, in collaboration with the National Theatre of Northern Greece (N.T.N.G.) and the Thessaloniki Concert Hall. 

Production team 
Director: Dimitris Kianidis   
Costumes: Ioanna Manoledaki 
Set: Athanasios Kolalas 

Conductor: Lisa Xanthopoulou
Dido: Sofia Mitropoulou
Aeneas: Armando Puklavec
Witch: Nikolaos Spanos
Belinda: Anastasia Kopsacheili

Act I 
The Trojan hero Aeneas has managed to save his young son Ascanius and carry his father from the ruins of burning Troy. Zeus has commissioned him to sail to Italy and found a new kingdom with his comrades. In the course of their passage through the Mediterranean, the Trojans land at Carthage, the city ruled by Queen Dido. After her husband´s death, Dido has vowed never to remarry, pledging herself entirely to the welfare of her state. Dido honours Aeneas with a royal banquet. She falls in love with him. Dido is tormented by doubts. Belinda dispels her mistress´ misgivings. She knows that the Trojan Aeneas harbours similar feelings. 

Act II 
The witches have assembled in a steep ravine. Their leader commands the destruction of Carthage as punishment for the irresponsible behaviour of Dido and Aeneas. A witch reports that Dido and Aeneas are hunting. The witch is ordered to disguise herself as Mercurius and announce Zeus´ decision to Aeneas that he has to set sail for Italy at once. The remaining witches shall evoke a storm in order to drive the hunting company back to the city. Meanwhile, Belinda and the royal entourage are enjoying the beauty of the holy grove where they are resting. A seer interrupts their mood, accouncing that this is a place of doom. Dido arrives, followed by Aeneas who has felled a mighty boar. As soon as the lovers have retired to the tent prepared for them, the storm breaks. Aeneas alone is prevented by the witches from fleeing back to the city. The witch disguised as Mercurius commands him to leave for Italy immediately. The hero, although profoundly shaken, is prepared to fulfil his duty. 

Act III The Trojans are preparing for their departure. The witches rejoice when they see the disconsolate Queen. Dido feels that the Gods have punished her with Aeneas´ faithlessness because she broke her vow; she refuses Aeneas´ offer to stay. The lovers accept the fate that has failed to respect their innermost desires and sacrifice their love. Belinda is unable to comfort Dido. Aeneas sets sail with his comrades. Dido dies.

Performed in English (accompanied by synchronous subtitles in Russian) . 


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