Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Academy of Ancient Music

Christine Rice close up 2018

The Academy of Ancient Music’s three-year Purcell opera cycle, in co-production with the Barbican, reaches its climax with a semi-staged performance of the greatest English opera of its time.

When I am laid in earth, may my wrongs create no trouble in thy breast…’

Over 300 years since its premiere, Purcell’s opera  still speaks poignantly of love and loss, retelling Virgil’s tragic tale of Queen Dido and Trojan Prince Aeneas in music that moves from the raw emotional power of Dido’s celebrated lament, to catchy sailors’s songs and graceful dances.

Celebrated soprano Christine Rice brings her emotive delivery to Purcell’s most courageous, contemporary heroine. She’s joined by young soprano Rowan Pierce as her faithful handmaiden Belinda.

Following on from the success of The Fairy Queen and King Arthur, AAM’s annual series of staged Purcell performances also offers the chance to hear music from his Dioclesian – the semi-opera that put the young composer on the musical map, stunning London audiences with its deft orchestral writing and sonic spectacle.

Produced by the Barbican and Academy of Ancient Music


14–25? Become a Young Barbican member.

*Excludes £3 booking fee

Pre-concert talk 6.30pm

Free to ticket-holders

Join Young Barbican

Be there when it happens with discounted access to unmissable art and entertainment as well as events and creative opportunities for 14-25 year olds


Play button icon
an orchestra playing classical music in the barbican hall in central london

Listen: Classical Music on Spotify

Follow our regularly updated Classical Music playlist for a sample of the music you'll hear across our programme. 

Play button icon
a great photo of joyce didonato at the barbican centre in london before a concert

Watch: Classical Music

Explore our programme of classical music through our series of talks and interviews with the world's top soloists, musicians, conductors and collaborators.

Barbican Hall