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.
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Stage Director and Choreographer
Anne-Catherine Kunz, Marie Messian (Make-up research Brussels)
Atushi Sakaï (Additional musical composition), Raphaëlle Latini (Sound designer), Hjorvar Rognvaldsson (Sound engineer), Elias Vervecken (Foley)
Nina Lopez Le Galliard
Eurudike De Beul
Assistant to the Director
2nd Woman / 1st Witch
Creation and performance by the artists of Peeping Tom
Eurudike De Beul, Leo De Beul, Marie Gyselbrecht, Hunmok Jung, Brandon Lagaert, Chen-Wei Lee, Yichun Liu, Romeu Runa
With the orchestra and choir of the Concert d’Astrée
Grand Théâtre de Genève
Opéra de Lille, Les Théâtres de la Ville du Luxembourg, Théâtre de Caen