Saturday, 1 June 2013

Dido and Aeneas - Bath Festival

It's Saturday and I feel a little tired today. I have, however just learnt how to 'Tweet'. When I was in Durham my old pupil, now fine teacher, M, told me in no uncertain manner that I needed to get into the 21st century and learn how to tweet, or twitter or what ever the verb is!

I am not entirely sure I quite understand, but I have tweeted a couple of times, and they do seem to appear in a long list of others. I am also not entirely convinced as to the point of it? What can I say of any worth in a few characters and a lot of @ signs ! I have not quite got to grips with what happens when one sees the @ sign ????!

Anyhow, it did mean that I saw what a few of the young singers I have masterclassed over the years were up to now they are away at music college and moving up in the world of performing. For instance, a very fine young lady, R who came to Song School for a number of years was performing at the Bath Festival in Dido and Aeneas, held at the actual Roman Spa, and clearly had a wonderful time. There are some pictures of them erecting a stage over the water of the bath, and it is very evocative with steam rising into the lights. Quite beautiful, and very atmospheric.

Dido is, of course one of my very favourite operas. It is a perfect miniature, yet bursting with such dramatic word painting and glorious melody. Purcell really knew how to press the emotion buttons. We all know the famous Dido's Lament which touches the heart with it's sorrow and deep inevitability, but there are many other wonderful moments, the Echo Chorus in the woods, the duet between Dido and Aeneas just before they part, and the dark and dramatic Sorceress solo as the witches plan to burn Carthage.

It is 45 minutes of riveting theatre combined with delicious music, and something everyone who loves truly genius vocal music should listen to.

Don't miss it, even though you can no longer see it on a stage astride the ancient waters of the Roman Spa in Bath !


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