Wednesday’s Access Utah is a part of USU’s Year of the Arts. We’ll talk about Henry Purcell’s opera “Dido and Aeneas,” and related topics. Our guests will include conductor Nicholas Kraemer and Purcell scholar and Syracuse University professor Amanda Eubanks Winkler. And we’ll hear some music from the opera.
Utah State University Opera is presenting the opera “Dido and Aeneas” on April 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and April 21 at 2 p.m. in the Morgan Theatre on the USU Logan campus.
Christopher Scheer, associate professor of musicology in the Caine College of the Arts, says that “Dido and Aeneas is one of the great works in the operatic canon and one of the most frequently performed 17th century operas. Dido is queen of Carthage and has fallen in love with the Trojan, Aeneas, who is briefly waylaid in fulfilling his destiny to found Rome. The evil sorceress hates Dido and succeeds in separating the lovers. Dido dies from being lovesick, though not before singing one of the most famous arias in operatic history, ‘When I am Laid in Earth’”
Professor Scheer says the opera’s music is in a style that demands a special approach and historical understanding, which is why Scheer, along with Dallas Heaton, director of the opera theatre program in the Caine College of the Arts, brought in the special guest music director, Nicholas Kraemer, and Purcell Scholar and Syracuse University professor, Amanda Eubanks Winkler.
Nicholas Kraemer is one of the leading interpreters of pre-1750 music working today and has a magisterial list of engagements with orchestras and festivals around the world, including as Principal Guest Conductor of Music of the Baroque, Chicago.
Amanda Eubanks Winkler is one of the leading scholars of 17th century English musical drama. She has published books, articles and critical editions on this topic and is currently participating in an international project entitled Performing Restoration Shakespeare. For this production, she has acted as the historical consultant and will also be giving pre-concert talks an hour before each performance.