Dido and Aeneas

views updated

Dido and Aeneas. Opera in prol. and 3 acts by Purcell to lib. by Nahum Tate, after his play Brutus of Alba (1678) and Book 4 of Virgil's Aeneid. Presumed f.p. Josias Priest's sch. for young gentlewomen, Chelsea, in 1689 or 1690, but recent scholarship by Bruce Wood and Andrew Pinnock suggests comp. and perf. dates of 1683–4. Staged in London c.1700 and c.1704 and not again until RCM 1895 (Lyceum Th.). F.p. in NY 1923 (at Hotel Plaza). Several versions survive, the score held by St Michael's College, Tenbury, being accepted as standard. Another important version was found at Tatton Hall, Cheshire. Dido's Lament, When I am laid in earth, occurs in Act 3.