Dido & Aeneas online on ARTE Concert for 30 days

With a guest performance of the choreographic opera »Dido & Aeneas« by Sasha Waltz to the music of Henry Purcell, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele – Internationale Festspiele Baden-Württemberg would have openend on 7 May 2020. Due to the current situation the performances cannot take place, but starting today the piece is available for streaming online worldwide on ARTE Concert for 30 days.

In collaboration with Sasha Waltz & Guests and in coproduction with ZDF, ARTE presents the filmic version of »Dido & Aeneas«, directed by Peter Schönhofer on ARTE Concert, available for streaming worldwide until 7 June 2020. The movie was produced 2005 for ZDF/ARTE and was awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik. Please click here to get to the video-on-demand.

Henry Purcell’s »Dido & Aeneas« is often described as the oldest love story in English opera. It is a myth of flight, expulsion and love in times of war: When Aeneas leaves the Cathargean queen Dido after having found refuge at her court, he breaks her heart. Her lament »When I am laid in earth« is one of the most famous arias of music history in which Dido takes leave of her life and love.

The production was a premiere for Sasha Waltz, marking the beginning of her work on »choreographic opera«. Together with 12 dancers from her ensemble and 51 musicians choristers and soloists, Sasha Waltz has created her own interpretation of »Dido & Aeneas«, putting the choreographic transposition of the opera and the expansion of musical theatre through the medium of dance at the heart of this project.

The emotional and multi-faceted world of this, Purcell’s only complete opera, is the starting point for the choreographic work. Sasha Waltz in »Dido & Aeneas« successfully combines dance, music and song in a completely new way for the opera. Singers and choristers are part of an overall choreography, which sets them loose from their original roles and functions. In Dido’s final aria, it is no longer clear who is a singer, dancer, soloist or choir member. With the help of the impressive ensemble, Sasha Waltz’s choreography goes far beyond the mere illustration of the opera’s story.

2014 the renowned cycle of choreographic operas by Sasha Waltz ended with her interpretation of Claudio Monteverdis’ »Orfeo«. During this musically influenced production phase Sasha Waltz created choreographic operas to compositions by Hector Berlioz (»Roméo et Juliette«), Pascal Dusapin (»Medea«, »Passion«) and Toshio Hosokawa (»Matsukaze«).

Dido & Aeneas
Opera in three Acts by Henry Purcell
Libretto by Nahum Tate
Sasha Waltz
Conductor and Adaption
Attilio Cremonesi

World Premiere: Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, 29.01.2005

originally scheduled performances:
Schlossfestspiele Ludwigsburg
7. 8. May 2020

Set Design: Thomas Schenk, Sasha Waltz
Costumes: Christine Birkle
Light Design: Thilo Reuther
Dramaturgy: Jochen Sandig, Yoreme Waltz
Dido: Aurore Ugolin (Mezzo-Sopran), Clémentine Deluy, Michal Mualem
Aeneas: Reuben Willcox (Bariton), Virgis Puodziunas
Train of Aeneas: Luc Dunberry, Manuel Alfonso Pérez Torres
Belinda: Deborah York (Sopran), Sasa Queliz
Sorceress: Fabrice Mantegna (Bariton), Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, Xuan Shi
Second Woman: Céline Ricci (Sopran), Maria Marta Colusi
Narrator: Charlotte Engelkes
First Witch / A Sailor: Eberhard Francesco Lorenz (Tenor), Takako Suzuki
Second Witch / Spirit: Michael Bennett (Tenor), Jirí Bartovanec
Ascanius: László Sandig

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Concertmaster: Georg Kallweit
Violin: Georg Kallweit, Stephan Mai, Kerstin Erben, Uta Peters, Barbara Halfter, Verena Sommer, Gabriele Steinfeld, Nadja Zwiener, Albrecht Kühner, Thomas Graewe, Erik Dorset, Susanne Kanis
Viola: Anja Graewel, Annette Geiger, Lothar Haass, Clemens-Maria Nuszbaumer, Johannes Platz
Bassviolin: Jan Freiheit, Inka Döring
Viola da Gamba: Hartwig Groth
Violone: Robert Sagasser, Miriam Shalinsky
Theorbe / Barock Guitar: Jakob Lindberg, Björn Colell, Ophira Zakai
Cembalo: Raphael Alpermann
Percussion: Michael Metzler

Vocalconsort Berlin
Soprano: Anette Lösch, Cécile Kempenaers, Maria Köpcke, Susanne Wilsdorf
Alto: Uwe Czyborra-Schröder, Dorothee Merkel, Martin van der Zeijst, Anne-Kristin Zschunke
Tenor: Klaus-Martin Bresgott, Sebastian Lipp, Markus Schuck, Oliver Uden
Bass: Martin Backhaus, Martin Schubach, Frank Schwemmer, René Steur

Repetition: Claudia de Serpa Soares
Vocal Coach: Roger Tebb
Corepetition: Veronika Braß

Director of Film: Peter Schönhofer
TV Editor: Wolfgang Bergmann, Dieter Schneider

A production of ZDF In collaboration with ARTE In coproduction with ZDF theaterkanal and Sasha Waltz & Guests
© ZDF 2005

A production of Sasha Waltz & Guests and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in coproduction with Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg and Opéra National de Montpellier.