Concert archive

30-05-2015 - DIDO AND AENEAS - and music of the kingdom

Performing Dido and Aeneas is something we have dreamed of for a while and it turned out that The Morley Consort of Voices was also desperate for an opportunity to enjoy Purcell's most popular opera!.. A happy co-incidence and one which led to a weekend of emotion; excitement, anticipation, joy, exhaustion, harmony (in every sense) and tears.... of the right sort. Purcell's ability to stir the soul never ceases to amaze us.....
Conductor: Andy Weeks
Leader: Jim O'Toole
The Morley Consort of Voices with Norwich Baroque

This Sweet and merry month of May - William Byrd
Fantasia upon one note - Henry Purcell
Hear my prayer - Henry Purcell
Salvator Mundi - John Blow
Symphony no.1 - William Boyce


Dido and Aeneas - Purcell

A collaboration between the Morley Consort of Voices and Norwich Baroque provided a splendid evening of vocal and instrumental music in St. Stephens Church, culminating in a semi-staged performance of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.

In the first half, the Morley Consort, under their director, Andrew Weeks, demonstrated qualities of fine and expressive singing, first in a rare madrigal by William Byrd, This sweet and merry month of May, and early work by John Blow, Salvator Mundi, and most splendidly in an anthem, Hear my Prayer, by John Blow's most famous pupil, Purcell.

Norwich Baroque led by Jim O'Toole began with Purcell, his Fantasia on One note, both works revealing Purcell's harmonic adventurousness. A lively reading of Boyce's 1st symphony was their other contribution.

Dido and Aeneas is Purcell's only true opera, in which all the text is sung. It is a truly theatrical work and this semi-staging in costume, using the church's space to great effect was very successful. Rosamund Walton was a memorable Dido, shading her voice beautifully in the final lament, Laura Morgan a radiant Belinda, Isabel Stevens a characterful Sorceress, and the splendid Dhilan Gnanadurai made the most of Aeneas.. Excellent diction with everything crystal clear from the soloists and chorus, fine accompanying from the orchestra while conductor Andrew Weeks paced the work beautifully. A memorable evening.

Frank Cliff