Henry Purcell’s only Opera proper, Dido and Aeneas is a magnificent example of English Baroque music, with lively dances and passionate aria sections that demonstrate Purcell’s masterful compositional and choral writing skill. Based on a libretto by Nahum Tate it was first performed in 1689, comprises three acts and lasts about an hour. Filled with dramatic lyricism with a wide range of musical and emotional content, it is a monumental Baroque composition considered to be one of England’s foremost operatic works. Dido and Aeneas contains all the elements for a successful opera including a shipwreck, sorcery, love and lost love and death.
This is the Vocal and Full Operatic Score, edited by Margaret Laurie and Thurston Dart. With its interesting and imaginative realization and authentic editorial process this is an excellent edition that features some performing choices and variants and also includes the reconstructed prologue.