Dido & Aeneas

Sasha Waltz & Guests, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie 2005 98 Min

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»Dido & Aeneas« to the music of Henry Purcell with a libretto by Nahum Tate based on Virgil’s epic about Aeneas’ flight from burning Troy, whose wanderings speak of love in times of war. After taking refuge in her court, Aeneas leaves the Queen of Carthage, Dido. She is heartbroken. In her lament, »When I Am Laid in Earth«, one of the most famous arias in music history, she bids farewell to her life and love. Dance and opera are combined into the art form of choreographic opera as Sasha Waltz brings together musicians and dancers to form a unique ensemble. The work’s 2005 film version, directed by Peter Schönhofer for ZDF/ARTE, received the German Record Critics’ Award.
It was with the 2005 work »Dido & Aeneas« that the development of the choreographic opera began in Sasha Waltz’s practice. She was the first of this opera’s modern interpreters to conceive a choreographic work based on its complex emotional world, integrating singers into the dance process, and therefore combining dance and opera into a single art form. To demonstrate the inner fragmentation of the two lovers, Sasha Waltz casts two dancers in each role, who simultaneously express different emotions. She developed her first choreographic opera together with 12 dancers from her ensemble as well as 51 musicians from the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, choristers from the Vocalconsort Berlin, and selected vocal soloists. In 2014, Sasha Waltz’s highly acclaimed cycle ended with her interpretation of Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo. During this important, music-driven creative period, her works included choreographic operas to compositions by Hector Berlioz (»Roméo et Juliette«), Pascal Dusapin (Medea, Passion), and Toshio Hosokawa (»Matsukaze«).

Dido: Aurore Ugolin (mezzo-soprano)
Aeneas: Reuben Willcox (baritone)
Belinda: Deborah York (soprano)
Sorceress: Fabrice Mantegna (baritone)
Second Woman: Céline Ricci (soprano)
First Witch / A Sailor: Eberhard Francesco Lorenz (tenor)
Second Witch / Spirit: Michael Bennett (tenor)

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Production: Sasha Waltz & Guests, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie

Choreography: Sasha Waltz

Composition: Henry Purcell

Cast: Jirí Bartovanec, Maria Marta Colusi, Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, Luc Dunberry, Charlotte Engelkes, Michal Mualem, Manuel Alfonso Pérez Torres, Virgis Puodziunas, Sasa Queliz, Xuan Shi, Takako Suzuki, László Sandig

Original Title: Dido & Aeneas

Original Language: English

Subtitles: No subtitles

Film Production Country: Germany

 

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