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Octavio Cardenas, director
Timothy Long, conductor

STRAUSS Ariadne auf Naxos - I. Prologue
PURCELL Dido and Aeneas

Ariadne auf Naxos is comprised of two parts: the Prologue and the Opera, but in this performance EOT will only perform the Prologue. With music by Richard Strauss and a libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Ariadne auf Naxos will be sung in German with English supertitles. This comic romance takes place in the home of the richest man in Vienna, who has just thrown a dinner party and ordered entertainment for his guests. Hijinks ensue when a composer and his serious opera company arrive at the same time as a troop of improvisational comedians… and all are told that they must find a way to perform simultaneously.

Conversely, Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, libretto by Nahum Tate, realized and edited by Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst, is a romantic tragedy. The opera opens with Dido, the lovelorn queen of Carthage, aching for Aeneas, a Trojan hero, to return to her. Upon their eventual reunion, all seems to be going well for the couple, but unbeknownst to them a coven of witches is plotting the downfall of Carthage and its queen. Deception and misunderstandings ensue triggering an irreversible anger in Dido that ultimately leads to her demise.

Long shares, “our winter double-bill is a combination of two great works in the operatic canon. The stories from the Ariadne auf Naxos Prologue and Dido and Aeneas bring together stories of extravagance and abandonment from over two hundred years apart. They show the timeless resilience of the human condition.” He continues, “Benjamin Britten’s 20th century edition of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas ties the two pieces together with a modern aesthetic.”

For more information about Eastman Opera Theatre, please read here.

Event Details

  • Ben Meyerhoff
  • Jeff Harp
  • Luke Schoeniger
  • Zichen Bai

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