• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Fringe Opera: Review

Dido and Aeneas

Dido and Aeneas

About Turn Theatre, TheSpake@Venue 45

Propelling Purcell's celebrated baroque opera into the 20th century, About Turn theatre company set the composer's 1688 score nearly 500 years in the future, positioning it in a Second World War hospital.

Attired in a 1940s twin-set complete with glamorous fur wrap, mezzo-soprano Rachael Cox gave an engaging interpretation of the role of Dido with a beautifully rich tone and impeccable, clear diction.

Opposite her, tenor Tim Reynolds's war-wounded Aeneas was a hero wrought by emotion and anguish.

The inherently evil sorceress was given a wonderfully loathsome portrayal by mezzo-soprano Victoria Pym, as she commanded her macabre witches to her malevolent bidding.

In an astute, modern take on this centuries-old piece, the production team made ingenious use of their limited space and resources.

In a surprising final twist Aeneas, instead of being carried away by the Gods, is shot by Dido and Cox performs her final aria, When I am Laid in Earth, in a white wedding gown soaked with blood before turning the gun on herself.

Despite their small number, the six-person chorus were a classy ensemble, singing with a well-balanced blend.

More manpower might have been welcome among the instrumentalists though, as the trio of keyboard, 'cello and violin sounded a little sparse at times.

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.