Opera seria in Three Acts. Libretto by Pietro Metastasio. Music by Niccolò Jommelli. In Italian with German and English surtitles. Recommended for ages: 12 and over
Queen Dido is lonely in her reign on the throne of Carthage. She finds herself pursued by numerous power-hungry suitors but rejects all of them. Not until the Trojan hero Aeneas is stranded in Carthage when fleeing from his ruined homeland is Dido certain that she has finally found a suitable partner for both her heart and her crown. Although Aeneas returns Dido’s love, he decides to go back to sea in order to fulfil his destiny: founding the city of Rome …
Having been set over sixty-five times (by composers including Georg Friedrich Händel, Luigi Cherubini and Johann Adolph Hasse) «Didone abbandonata» by Pietro Metastasio is one of the most popular libretti in opera history.
Niccolò Jommelli (1714 - 1774), one of the most respected and, with over sixty operas to his name, one of the most productive composers of his time, repeatedly returned to this tragic love story where individual happiness is sacrificed for perceived duty to create three different versions during his lifetime. In powerfully expressive music he not only feels the lyrical moments of Dido’s love but also unleashes some real fireworks in the infernal finale when Dido throws herself into the flames of burning Carthage. In this production by the young Dutch director Lotte de Beer, who has recently directed at the Theater an der Wien, the Bayerische Staatsoper and the Bregenz Festival, the audience will experience the action from close up. The soprano Nicole Heaston and the countertenor Vince Yi, who delighted audiences last year as a perfect couple in «Alcina» return to Theater Basel for «Didone abbandonata» – under the musical direction of harpsichordist and conductor Daniela Dolci. The baroque ensemble she founded, Musica Fiorita, which specializes in rediscovering unknown works by composers of the 17th and 18th centuries and their historically informed performance, makes its first ever guest appearance at Theater Basel.
Preisstufe VII (von 30.– bis 118.–)