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Opera tells story of ill-fated love

Feb. 12, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Henry Purcell's 17th century English opera "Dido and Aeneas" will be presented Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20-21, at Western Michigan University.

Shows begin at 8 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday in the University's Dalton Center Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 and $5 for senior citizens and WMU students and employees. They are available by calling (269) 387-2300 or (800) 228-9858, or by visiting the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office.

"Dido and Aeneas" at the Dalton Center is presented by University Chorale in collaboration with the WMU Opera Workshop. The production will feature students and faculty of the WMU School of Music, semi-staged and accompanied by a chamber orchestra. Dr. James K. Bass, assistant professor and director of choral activities at WMU, will provide musical direction for the performance. Stage direction will be provided by Dr. Carl Ratner, associate professor of music.

"Dido and Aeneas" takes place in ancient Carthage and tells the story of the ill-fated love between Queen Dido and the Trojan Prince Aeneas. The prince and his fleet have arrived in Carthage after the fall of Troy. Aeneas and Dido fall in love and seem to be bound for a royal marriage. But, an evil sorceress sends Aeneas a false messenger from Mercury, ordering him to resume his quest to re-establish the Trojan line in what would become Rome. Aeneas reluctantly abandons Dido, who resolves to end her own life.

The work features one of the best-known English arias of all time, "When I am Laid in Earth," which is sung by Dido at the conclusion of the opera.

For more information, contact Carl Ratner at (269) 387-4706 or carl.ratner@wmich.edu.

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Media contact: Kevin West, (269) 387-4681, kevin.west@wmich.edu

WMU News
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Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
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