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Dido and Aeneas: A funeral for the Queen of Carthage

Academy of Ancient Music

Portrait of Caitlin Hulcup

Visionary director Thomas Guthrie presents a new semi-staged production of Purcell’s poignant tale of love and loss, widely regarded as the greatest English opera of its time.

Retelling Virgil’s heart-breaking tale of Queen Dido of Carthage and Prince Aeneas of Troy, the opera contains some of Purcell’s most memorable music, from the raw emotional power of Dido’s deeply moving lament ‘When I am laid in earth’, to catchy sailors’ songs and graceful dances.

Expanding on the tragic fate of Purcell’s most courageous heroine, Guthrie precedes the opera with an imagined funeral for the late Queen, accompanied by a selection of other beautiful music by this great English composer.

Produced by the Barbican and Academy of Ancient Music

Pre-concert talk 6.30pm

Free to ticket-holders

Download the programme


Illustration of two people

Opera Strip: Dido and Aeneas

Widely regarded as the greatest English opera of its time, illustrator Will Elliot creates an illustrated synopsis of Purcell’s poignant tale of love and loss, ahead of the Academy of Ancient Music's performance.

an orchestra playing classical music in the barbican hall in central london

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Barbican Hall