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Michael Hirsch and Henry Purcell

Informationen Zum Werk

Musical theatre by Michael Hirsch and Henry Purcell
Premiered on 28th January 2017 in the Tischlerei of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

90 mins / no interval



Jens Holzkamp

Directed by

Martin G. Berger


Michael Hirsch

Costume design

Silke Bornkamp


Curt A. Roesler

Second Woman / First Witch

Meechot Marrero


Jörg Schörner

Second Witch / A Spirit / A Mariner

Andrew Dickinson

About the performance

Since ancient times the aggrieved aria sung by Dido after her abandonment by Aeneas has formed the basis for countless adaptations in literature, the fine arts and not least opera. Dido’s lament in Henry Purcell’s DIDO AND AENEAS [1688/89] remains one of the most poignant farewell scenes in the history of musical theatre. In 1724 the great baroque librettist Pietro Metastasio penned his LA DIDONE ABBANDONATA, which went on to be set to music no less than 60 times. The latest rendition is by Berlin composer Michael Hirsch, whose 10-minute-long mini opera of the same name was performed for the first time in 2003. He now presents his short work in the Tischlerei of the Deutsche Oper Berlin along with the premiere of his adaptation of Purcell’s DIDO. The result is an evening of musical theatre in which the lovers’ leave-taking provides the starting point for Purcell’s opera. The music of the Purcell work, while substantively unchanged, is clothed in the new sound of a contemporary chamber ensemble. The juxtaposition and synthesis of old and new opens up a space in which centuries of emotional operatic potential can flourish, a space in which the tale of Dido’s love for the Trojan fugitive Aeneas can be told.

The Deutsche Oper Berlin was able to sign up young director Martin Berger to stage the work. Berger was awarded the Karan Armstrong prize of the Götz Friedrich Stiftung in 2015. In the 2015/2016 season he has been guiding a group of 50 young refugees and an assemblage of young Berliners as they work on the NEULAND project for presentation in the Tischlerei.

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