Dido and Aeneas is a dance adaptation of Henry Purcell’s 1689 eponymous opera, based on Virgil's famous tale of Aeneas' affair with Dido, the Queen of Carthage on his way to founding Rome. As Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Belgium, Mark Morris presented this opera with singers stationed in the pit and with the stage reserved exclusively for dancing. The unique combination of baroque vocal music and modern dance underscored Morris’ gift for storytelling and his remarkable ability to shape music and words into movements.
Mark Morris’ original casting of himself in the the dual role of Dido and the evil Sorceress that plots the Queen's demise would become one of his most acclaimed. As he said at the time," biographer Joan Acocella wrote in 1993, "he wanted to expand the expressiveness of male dancers; he wanted to give them what women had.
The show has continued to inspire, delight, and garner accolades since its 1989 premiere. In 2015, Dido and Aeneas was named a "tour de force of the late 20th century" by the Los Angeles TImes, proving you "don't need a movie screen to make a blockbuster."
Learn more about the history of this masterwork.
Interested in presenting Dido and Aeneas at your venue? Contact Michael Mushalla.