Young musicians at The Purcell School gave two staged performances of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, with a libretto by Nahum Tate, over the weekend. Mary Kate Gill, Head of Academic Music, directed the orchestra which played with clarity and sensitivity throughout. The elegant Continuo was provided by Oliver Franks and Francesca Lauri on harpsichord and Nick Drey on cello. On stage the performance was equally polished. Georgia Odette gave a truly beautiful and memorable performance as Dido, Queen of Carthage, through her extraordinary stage presence as well as the outstanding quality of her singing. Will Fowler (Aeneas), Lydia Baines (Sorceress), Emily Christian (Belinda) and Alice McCarthy (Second Woman) also interpreted their roles with great maturity and musicality, ably supported by all members of the chorus.
Paul Elliott’s stage direction was masterful and performance-enhancing in its simplicity and use of colour and shape. The audience was captivated by both performances and huge congratulations must go to everyone involved.