Dido & Aeneas 2021 / Collaboration

Dido & Aeneas (2021) is Peeping Tom’s first opera. Written by English composer Henry Purcell in around 1688, Dido & Aeneas will unite Peeping Tom’s performers and their unique theatrical language with the world of the opera. The piece, directed by Franck Chartier, is created in collaboration with Emmanuelle Haïm’s Le Concert d’Astrée for the Grand Théâtre de Genève and will premiere on 2 May 2021 in Geneva.

Dido & Æneas was written to be performed in an orphanage for girls by the girls themselves (at least a part of them and a part of the work). Is this the reason why Æneas, even if he features in the title of the opera, only shows up relatively late and actually sings very little before disappearing and leaving the women in their former state of solitude and ennui. From the very beginning, Dido’s grief contains inexhaustible depths and we know that all this won’t end well as we dive into Dido’s psychological abyss.

In the theatrical world of Peeping Tom, relationships between the beings who inhabit the stage are the starting-point of endless explorations inside bodies and minds. As they zoom in and out, we embark on a journey from microscopic impressions to macroscopic feelings as huge as… the most grossly misshapen of superlative realities. This world of psyche and emotion, with rules that are both strict and organic, will be asked to stage an opera for the first time in the collective’s history. Fortunately, there’s all the space they need on the Grand Théâtre stage, so no fear that they might get stuck.

And no fear they should creak either! Since Emmanuelle Haïm herself is officiating as mistress of ceremonies at the head of the ensemble with which she has long been exploring the music of Henry Purcell. Le Concert d’Astrée will themselves be busy with some improvisational pyrotechnics, shifting from one reality on the stage to another, from authentic musical textures to magnificent chromatics inspired by Dido’s famous final lament “When I am laid in earth” from the only opera the British Orpheus ever composed. This is Dido like you have never seen or heard it before.

Tour Dates

May 2021
02GenevaGrand Théâtre de Genève
04GenevaGrand Théâtre de Genève
06GenevaGrand Théâtre de Genève
08GenevaGrand Théâtre de Genève
09GenevaGrand Théâtre de Genève
11GenevaGrand Théâtre de Genève

Stage Director and Choreographer
Franck Chartier

Musical Director
Emmanuelle Haïm

Scenographer
Justine Bougerol

Costume designer
Anne-Catherine Kunz, Marie Messian (Make-up research Brussels)

Lighting Designer
Giacomo Gorini

Sound
Atushi Sakaï (Additional musical composition), Raphaëlle Latini (Sound designer), Hjorvar Rognvaldsson (Sound engineer), Elias Vervecken (Foley)

Props
Nina Lopez Le Galliard

Technical master
Filip Timmerman

Dramaturgy
Clara Pons

Artistic collaborator
Eurudike De Beul

Assistant to the Director
Lulu Tikovsky

Choreography Assistant
Samuel Lefeuvre

 

Dido/Sorceress
Marie-Claude Chappuis

Aeneas
Jarrett Ott

Belinda
Emöke Baráth

2nd Woman / 1st Witch
Marie Lys

Creation and performance by the artists of Peeping Tom
Eurudike De Beul, Leo De Beul, Liwei Fu, Marie Gyselbrecht, Hunmok Jung, Brandon Lagaert, Weiwei Lee, Yichun Liu, Romeu Runa

With the orchestra and choir of the Concert d’Astrée

 

Production
Grand Théâtre de Genève

Co-production
Opéra de Lille, Les Théâtres de la Ville du Luxembourg, Théâtre de Caen