Dido & Aeneas – Henry Purcell
The Pleasure Garden – Philip Norman, Librettist A. K. Grant
A timeless favourite, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas has something for everyone - a doomed love affair, evil schemes, wild carousing and supernatural effects, culminating in one of the most cherished arias in the history of opera, Dido’s lament: “When I am laid in earth may my wrongs create no trouble, no trouble in thy breast.”
This is followed by Philip Norman’s The Pleasure Garden, a comedic chamber opera about how Francis Hodgkin’s painting became part of the permanent collection of Christchurch Art Gallery. A true tale of trickery, triumph and the perversity of human nature, wrapped up in a blanket of laughs. As librettist, A. K. Grant writes of the painting: “Though I’d never say it’s bollocks, it simply lacks the power of a work of Jackson Pollock’s.”
With soloists from the Opera Club of Christchurch including Samantha Warhurst as Dido, Fernand Kenel as Aeneas, Sarah-Jane Rennie as Belinda, Peter Hind as an Art Critic, Eleanor Sim as a Minstrel, and Erin Callanan as a ‘spectrally dismayed’ ghost of Frances Hodgkins.
Accompanied by top Christchurch musicians Amandine Guerin, Jonathan Tanner, Sharon Baylis, Tomas Hurnik, Matthew Harris (strings) and Grant Bartley (keyboards).
2 performances ONLY
Saturday 5 September, 3.00pm & 7.30pm