New production of Dido and Aeneas at the Manoel

Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas will be staged at the Manoel Theatre on 9 and 11 October

Staff Reporter
29 September 2015, 5:50pm
Althea Troisi de Menville & Marvic Monreal in ‘Dido & Aeneas’ • Photo by Luiz Rodriguez
Althea Troisi de Menville & Marvic Monreal in ‘Dido & Aeneas’ • Photo by Luiz Rodriguez
Featuring one of the most famous operatic arias ‘When I am laid in earth’ (popularly known as ‘Dido's Lament’) along with the rest of the beautiful melodic score, Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas is being staged in a new production at the Manoel Theatre on 9 and 11 October.

The opera is being presented as a joint collaboration with Valletta 2018 Foundation, organisers of the year when Valletta will be designated as capital of culture and will be performed by Teatru Manoel Youth Opera with mezzo soprano Marvic Monreal in the title role accompanied by the Valletta International Baroque Ensemble conducted by Alice Farnham. 

The director is Jonathan Cocker who has directed numerous opera productions for companies such as New Zealand Opera to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Opera North.

This opera is Purcell’s only all-sung dramatic work, which tells the story of the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her. Although first produced in 1688 and contains fantastical elements such as sorceresses, spells and mythological gods the story is surprisingly still relevant and relatable. The ease of the narrative belies the complexity of the story and whirlwind of emotions experienced by the protagonists in this hour-long opera. 

These elements, combined with the timeless and striking costume designs by Sofia Lasserot and the arresting set design by Romualdo Moretti, augur for a truly exciting theatrical experience.

Dido and Aeneas will be held at the Manoel Theatre on October 9 and 11 at 20:00. Tickets are €18 and €15 including discounts for senior citizens and students. Full-time students (with valid student cards) are eligible for €10 tickets from one hour before the performance subject to availability.