Love gone wrong: UT Opera Ensemble to present tragedy

November 1, 2017 | Arts, Events, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Angela Riddel

The University of Toledo Opera Ensemble will present Henry Purcell’s tragic opera, “Dido and Aeneas,” Friday through Sunday, Nov. 3-5, in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7 p.m., and Sunday’s show will start at 3 p.m.

Alana Miller, mezzo-soprano, and Moises Salazar, tenor, rehearsed a scene in the title roles for “Dido and Aeneas.” 

This 17th-century English opera recounts the love of Dido, queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero, Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her. A monumental work in Baroque opera, “Dido and Aeneas” is remembered as one of Purcell’s foremost theatrical works. It was also Purcell’s only true opera, as well as his only all-sung dramatic work.

One of the earliest known English operas, “Dido and Aeneas” owes much to John Blow’s “Venus and Adonis,” both in structure and in overall effect.

The cast features UT students Meridian Prall and Alana Miller, mezzo-sopranos, as Dido; Paige Chapman, soprano, as Belinda; Robin Smithberger, soprano, as Second Lady; Ryan Tequilla, baritone, and Moises Salazar, tenor, as Aeneas; Katie Driscoll and Kate Walcher, mezzo-sopranos, as Sorceress; Mackenzie Payton, soprano, as First Witch; Danielle Hale, soprano, as Spirit; and Nate Krebs, baritone, and William Floss, tenor, as First Sailor. Elizabeth Atkins, soprano, also will perform as the Second Witch.

Sailors and chorus members are UT students Brandon Warren, tenor; Phil Smith, bass; and Nicole Savastuk, soprano. In addition, Dillon Sickels, bass, will perform.

Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini, assistant professor of music, is producing and directing the show.

The production is the first of the season for the ensemble. Its spring show will be Benjamin Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” March 23-25.

Tickets $10 to $15 are available through the Center for Performing Arts Box Office, online at or by calling 419.530.ARTS (2787).  

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