South Audley Street
JOMMELLI LA DIDONE (ROME 1746)
Didone, Queen of Carthage in love with Enea,
TOM VERNEY counter-tenor
Enea, Trojan prince in love with Didone,
CALVIN WELLS counter-tenor
Jarba, King of the Moors, who appears as Arbace,
RONAN BUSFIELD tenor
Selene, sister of Dido and secretly in love with Enea,
ALEX PULLINGER counter-tenor
Araspe, confidant of Jarba and in love with Selene,
MARTIN MILNES counter-tenor
Osmida, confidant of Dido,
JAMES HALL counter-tenor
CHAD KELLY Musical Director & harpsichord
GAVIN KIBBLE cello
GEORGE CLIFFORD leader
Ensemble Serse return with another rare opera in concert.
Didone Elisa, widow of Sicheo after he was murdered by his brother Pigmalione, king of Tyre, fled with immense riches to Africa where she bought enough land and built Carthage. She received many marriage proposals, in particular from Jarba the king of the Moors, which she refused wishing to remain faithful to her husband’s ashes.
Meanwhile, the Trojan hero Enea, journeying to Italy
after the destruction of his homeland by the Greeks,
was carried by a storm to the African shores and
received hospitality and protection from Didone, who fell
ardently in love with him; while he remained in Carthage
to indulge in her affections, he was ordered by the gods
to abandon those shores and resume his journey
All of this is derives from Virgil, who with a convenient
anachronism merges the times of the foundation of
Carthage with that of the wanderings of Enea. From
Ovid’s third book of Festivals, it is said that Jarba took
over Carthage after Didone’s death, and that her sister
Anna – whom we will call Selene – was herself as well
secretly in love with Enea.
For dramatic purposes, we shall determine that Jarba,
curious to see what Didone looked like, introduced himself
as his own ambassador, by the name of Arbace.
The action takes place in Carthage.