Post Date: 10/06/2020

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The Boston Camerata Stages Its First Digital Opera: “Dido and Aeneas, An Opera for Distanced Lovers”

 The innovative streaming production, directed by Anne Azéma, features Tahanee Aluwihare as Dido, Luke Scott as Aeneas, Camila Parias as Belinda, and Jordan Weatherston Pitts as the Sorcerer, along with a chamber orchestra and singers from Longy and Harvard

The performance is a new production of Purcell’s only true opera and a nod to the Camerata’s groundbreaking 40th Anniversary recording from 1979—the first recording of the opera using period instruments

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For immediate release (Boston, MA) —The Boston Camerata presents a new streaming production of Purcell’s only true opera titled “Dido and Aeneas, An Opera for Distanced Lovers.” Directed by Camerata Artistic Director Anne Azéma with media elements conceived by designer Peter Torpey, this production combines a cast of world-class musicians recorded in a staged performance augmented by the participation of remote singers and silent images. The show will be available for streaming November 14-29, 2020, and the digital performance includes a pre-concert presentation on “Dido and Aeneas” by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Emeritus and musicologist Ellen T. Harris, and a post-performance conversation between Anne Azéma and Peter Torpey.

Conceived and produced to be viewed on screens, Azéma’s production includes a stellar cast: Tahanee Aluwihare as Dido, Luke Scott as Aeneas, Camila Parias as Dido’s sister Belinda, Jordan Weatherston Pitts as the Sorcerer, assisted by students from Longy School of Music of Bard College and the Harvard Choral Fellows directed by Edward Elwyn Jones.

Tickets are $10-$50 and may be purchased at: https://bostoncamerata.org/tickets/online-ordering

The story of the ill-fated queen of Carthage, Dido, is based on Book IV of Virgil’s Aeneid. It recounts her love for the shipwrecked Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her.  Henry Purcell’s short opera, intensely powerful despite its reduced scale, distills the emotions inherent in the story, as rapidly alternating feelings of hope, disquiet, rejoicing, and mortal sorrow vie for their places in our modern-day hearts.

This production celebrates the 40th Anniversary year of the pioneering Camerata recording of “Dido and Aeneas” from 1979. That recording of Henry Purcell’s masterpiece was the first ever to use period instruments, and became a milestone in the history of recorded sound, influencing many subsequent interpretations.

Cast and Creative Team, Dido and AeneasAn Opera for Distanced Lovers:

Music: Henry Purcell

Libretto: Nahum Tate

Artistic Director, Music and Stage Direction: Anne Azéma

Lights and Media: Peter A. Torpey

Dido, Queen of Carthage: Tahanee Aluwihare

Aeneas, Trojan Prince: Luke Scott

Belinda, Dido’s Sister: Camila Parias

Sorcerer: Jordan Weatherston Pitts

Chamber Ensemble:

Sarah Darling, concertmistress

Susannah Foster, second violin

Anna Griffis, viola

Michael Unterman, cello

John McKean, harpsichord

With vocalists from: 

Longy School of Music of Bard College

The Harvard Choral Fellows (Edward Elwyn Jones, director)

Second Woman: Kendra Comstock and Morgan Ashkenazy

First Witch: Monica Rajan

Second Witch: Angie Tyler

First Sailor: Henrique Neves

About The Boston Camerata
The Boston Camerata occupies a unique place in the densely populated universe of European and American early music ensembles. Camerata’s distinguished rank stems partly from its longevity: founded in 1954, when the field of endeavor was in its infancy, as an adjunct to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ musical instruments collection, Camerata is now one of the longest-lived groups to be functioning, and vigorously so, up to the present day.

But length of service, by itself is not sufficient to account for Camerata’s preeminence, nor are its numerous distinctions, including the American Critics’ Circle Award, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, residencies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee, and the Grand Prix du Disque. The Boston Camerata has achieved its eminence in large part because of its willingness to approach, with consistent success, many kinds of historical repertoires from many centuries, from the early Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, and from many places and cultures, stretching from the Middle East to early New England, with numerous intermediate stops in Renaissance and Baroque Europe and Latin America. Directed from 1969 to 2009 by Joel Cohen, and from 2009 to the present day by French-born vocalist, scholar and stage director Anne Azéma, the Boston Camerata has continued to create, over more than a half-century of activity, a very large number of concert and recorded productions.

Two new recordings appeared in 2019: Treasures of Devotion presents music from the early Renaissance and Free America! Songs of Resistance and Rebellion produced by Harmonia Mundi.

bostoncamerata.org

Press Contact: Stephanie Janes, (617) 419-0445, stephanie@stephaniejanespr.com

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