Ancient Academy of Music Sets Date For Final Purcell Opera At Barbican

By David Salazar

The Ancient Academy of Music has announced the final performance of the three-year Purcell opera cycle, which will feature the composer’s masterwork “Dido and Aeneas” at the Barbican.

The performance is set for Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, and will feature a sem-staged production of the opera starring Christine Rice as Dido, Ashley Riches as Aeneas, Rowan Pierce as Belina, and Neal Davies as the Sorceress. The concert will also feature a number of other works by Purcell, including the Sonata No. 1 in G minor, among others. The concert will be directed by music director Richard Egarr, who will also be at the harpsichord. He will collaborate with Thomas Guthrie who will direct the staging.

The company previously performed Purcell’s “King Arthur” in 2017 and “The Fairy Queen” in 2016.

“I have long held the ambition to sing Dido, she being one of the great mythical heroines and Purcell being one of our greatest English composers,” Rice noted in a press release. “I cannot imagine doing it with better forces and am so excited that it will be semi-staged too.”