Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

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Purcell: Dido and Aeneas



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Release date:

1st June 2015




50 minutes


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Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Rachael Lloyd (Dido), Elin Manahan Thomas (Belinda), Robert Davies (Aeneas), Roderick Morris (Sorceress), Eloise Irving (Second Woman/First Witch/Spirit), Jenni Harper (Second Witch), Miles Golding (Sailor)

Armonico Consort, Christopher Monks


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Purcell’s ever-green chamber opera Dido & Aeneas, its story drawn from Virgil’s epic, the Aeneid, is performed by the Armonico Consort with an enchanting selection of soloists, including Rachael Lloyd, Robert Davies & Elin Manahan Thomas.

Armonico Consort is one of the largest and most innovative organisations of its kind in the UK, existing to inspire audiences with its unique programmes.

Henry Purcell: Dido & Aeneas, Z. 626


Belinda & Chorus - “Shake the cloud from off your brow”

Dido - “Ah! Belinda, I am press’d with torment”

Belinda & Dido - “Grief increases by concealing”

Chorus - “When monarchs unite, how happy their state”

Dido & Belinda - “Whence could so much virtue spring?”

Belinda, Second Woman & Chorus - “Fear no danger to ensue”

Belinda, Aeneas, Dido - “See, your royal guest appears”

Chorus - “Cupid only throws the dart”

Aeneas - “If not for mine, for Empire’s sake”

Belinda - “Pursue thy conquest love”

Guitars’ Chaconne

Chorus - “To the hills and the vales”

The Triumphing Dance

Prelude for the Witches (Sorceress & First Witch) - “Wayward sisters”

Chorus - “Harm’s our delight”

Sorceress - “The Queen of Carthage, whom we hate”

Chorus - “Ho ho ho, ho ho ho!”

First & Second Witches, Sorceress - “Ruin’d ere the set of sun?”

Chorus - “Ho ho ho, ho ho ho!” (Reprise)

First & Second Witches -“But, ere we this perform”

Chorus - “In our deep vaulted cell”

Echo Dance of Furies


Belinda & Chorus - “Thanks to these lonesome vales”

Second Woman - “Oft she visits this lone mountain”

Aeneas & Dido - “Behold, upon my bended spear”

Belinda & Chorus - “Haste to town”

Spirit & Aeneas: “Stay, Prince! and hear great Jove’s command”

The Sailor’s Dance I

Drunken Sailor & Chorus - “Come away, fellow sailors”

The Sailor’s Dance II

Sorceress, First & Second Witches - “See, the flags and streamers curling”

Sorceress - “Our next motion”

Chorus - “Destruction’s our delight”

The Witches’ Dance

Dido, Belinda & Aeneas - “Your counsel all is urged in vain”

Chorus - “Great minds against themselves conspire”

Dido - “Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me”

Dido - “When I am laid in earth”

Chorus - “With drooping wings”

The Telegraph

24th May 2015


“lithe, colourful, tastefully phrased and dynamically astute playing...[the cast] sing compellingly and inhabit their roles with the same sensitivity that distinguishes the whole performance.”

Sunday Times

24th May 2015

“This account has likeable soloists..., a fine chorus (though “Great minds” and “With drooping wings” are too slow) and a lively band. One-string-to-a-part weakens passages like the end of “Oft she visits”, but brings out Purcell’s expressive part-writing.”

The Guardian

4th June 2015


“a fine performance should magic up a sense of epic. Christopher Monks and his Armonico Consort almost manage to. This is a clean, uncluttered account featuring crystalline voices, good diction, safe tempos and well-defined phrasing...vocal ensembles are luminous and the instrumental playing is bright and streamlined. Best of all is Rachael Lloyd’s dignified Dido, rich-voiced, poetic and flawlessly delivered.”

Financial Times

20th June 2015


“The Armonico Consort and its musical director, Christopher Monks, capture this abundance of inspiration in a performance full of life and variety...Rachael Lloyd’s dignified Dido and Elin Manahan Thomas’s bright Belinda are well contrasted.”

Gramophone Magazine

August 2015

“There's a lot going for this newcomer. The scale is modest...The playing is wonderfully vital...The soloists are equally fine. Bright-toned Elin Manahan Thomas is well cast as Belinda...Roderick Morris is pleasingly unexaggerated as a countertenor Sorceress...Rachael Lloyd - lovesick, imperious, resigned - is an excellent Dido, her famous Lament no less effective for being restrained.”

BBC Music Magazine

September 2015

“This new recording, with a cast of youthful, fresh-voiced soloists and an ingenuous approach, recaptures the spirit of the first known performance in a Chelsea boarding school for 'young gentlewomen'…Rachel Lloyd makes a graceful Dido…Christopher Monks's fleet direction and wispy instrumental playing enhance the all-pervasive dance rhythms.”

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