Dido and Kleopatra
Baroque arias by Henry Purcell, Christoph Graupner, Georg Friedrich Händel, Johann Adolph Hasse, Antonio Sartorio, Francesco Cavalli et al.
Saturday, 24 September 2016, 7.30 pm
The tales told about the two enigmatic African queens Dido and Cleopatra, both the fictional and the true, have fired the imaginations of many composers, particularly in the Baroque era. Their astuteness brought the two of them to power while their feelings meant they were destined to be tragic heroines: one of them dies for love, the other uses her love to retain her power and fails. Anna Prohaska presents excerpts from operas about Dido and Cleopatra that span a period of almost a hundred years, from 1644 to 1742. Triumphant, seductive, accusing, pining, belligerent: the soprano succeeds in touchingly expressing the range of emotions felt by these exceptional queens. And while famous settings such as Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto are virtually mandatory, Prohaska has also delved into the archives to find arias by composers less well known today, such as Antonio Sartorio, Christoph Graupner and Dario Castello. With these she has put together a wide-ranging programme that will have a few unusual surprises in store even for aficionados of baroque opera.