Dido and Aeneas, The Beggar’s Opera

I had a perfect day, a day that set me up for the rest of the weekend.

Me, FJ and M-i-L went to see The Beggar’s Opera and Dido and Aeneas at Lancaster Castle – I really, really love the staging that The Heritage Opera do at the Castle – it makes you feel as if you are completely within the performance, surrounded by it and within it and completely taken by the music.

I can’t believe what a wonderful day I’ve had. I dyed my hair in preparation for the Dark Side and then FJ and I went over to M-i-L’s to make shepherd’s pie and get all dressed up for the operas.

The first Opera was Dido and Aeneas and unfortunately it didn’t look like we could sit together, so M-i-L and FJ were up on the opposite side of the witness place in the court room from where FJ and I sat last time. Which I knew would be a pretty good view and whatever the audio equivalent to a view is. But I got shown to the back where I could see the whole half of the court room. It was beautiful, it was exactly like having a whole stage organised just for me. and when Dido stabbed herself at the end (and covered as many members of the cast in blood as possible) it was perfect. The only problem really was the cellist who seemed determined to get into my eyeline. Admittedly at first I had a hard time thinking of the guy I’d last seen singing Papageno being the romantic lead, but then that got easier in the second one…

My Mum raves about Purcell and thanks to The Man Who Cried there’s a certain amount of Purcell in my head. After tonight yeah, yeah I’m kinda liking the baroque and I really enjoyed the operas tonight. Anyway the second opera I’d kind of assumed was also by Purcell but wasn’t, was by Pepusch who I’ve never heard of.

There had been two couples who’d come in after we had and I noticed that the second couple did not seem happy with the seating arrangement…the seating arrangement which was the jury box – oh yes we got a box! (Unlikely to ever happen again but hey I will love it whilst it happens) So we had a fantastic second opera (The Beggar’s Opera) right up there in the action – I can totally understand why in the sixteenth century you could pay for seats on the stage. It was the best ever thing, I didn’t enoy The Beggar’s Opera as much as the first, I think because … well I was going to say that it was comic opera but I quite liked the Mozart I saw last time. I don’t know, I did enjoy it, just not as much as Dido. I think the others were the other way inclined.

Oh wow. I love it. I’m so going to see The Barber of Seville in February.

I love being surrounded by the music and up in amongst the players. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a staged opera. One day I will again and one day I’ll even get to Covent Garden. Actually the next thing I’d like to do when it comes to opera is see one outside.

I’ve had such a good day.

One thought on “Dido and Aeneas, The Beggar’s Opera

  1. Purcell did a lot of very fine music, some of which I’ve had the pleasure of performing. One of the countries leading Purcell experts used to be at the Uni here, but she moved to Manchester a few years ago.

    There’s nothing like being right in the middle of the performance! This is ultimately what stops me completely loosing the plot and going on a mad killing spree….

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