‘The Queen of Carthage Reimagined’ Film Makes its Premiere

By Afton Wooten
(Photo credit: Early Music Vancouver)

Early Music Vancouver and re:Naissance Opera have reimagined the story of Dido for the modern audience in “The Queen of Carthage.” The film version is set to premiere online.

Cecilia Duarte stars in the multidisciplinary filmed performance of  “The Queen of Carthage.” The piece was filmed on location in Vancouver by Collide Entertainment in the lead up to the 2023 Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival, “WOMENinSIGHT.” Canadian-American singer, actor and stage-director Dr. Debi Wong and Canadian soprano and early music specialist Suzie LeBlanc combined opera and Baroque music with contemporary song, dance, and projected images.

The creative team is made up almost entirely of women, including stage director Stephanie Wong and Chilean-born, Italy-based music director Catalina Vicens. They were joined by dancers Marisa Gold, who served as choreographer and Juolin Lee. Updated musical performances include newly commissioned works by contemporary composers Jessica McMann, Robyn Jacob, and Afarin Mansouri, along with those of Baroque composers Henry Purcell and John Dowland. Catalina Vicens leads the players on instruments that were popular in 17th century opera.

“The Queen of Carthage” will be available to view online for Canadian audiences on a “pay what you can basis” through Early Music Vancouver’s website. Access is available from Nov. 16, 2023 through Jan. 5, 2024.