Purcell Dido and Aeneas & The Fairy Queen

Armonico Consort & Baroque Players: 27/05/2018

Whilst Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas is the only complete opera written during his short life, it has become a work at the heart of British musical heritage. The epic tragedy of a queen, a soldier and an illicit love is told through a spectacularly rich array of music.

Operas, as far as Purcell and his contemporaries were concerned, were small-scale pieces, intended for private performance. The Fairy Queen, in contrast, is a big public statement, written in the form most popular with the audiences of its day – a play with substantial incidental music, and with each of its five acts completed with an extended masque.

Available performances

The vocal ensembles are beautifully sparse and luminous and the instrumental playing is brightly streamlined.

5 starsThe Guardian