Ensemble to stage an opera in Denbigh

Reporter:

Suzanne Kendrick

TWO performers who created an ‘early music’ group will stage an opera this weekend. 

John Hosking, assistant director of music at St Asaph Cathedral and director of the cathedral's voluntary choir, and soprano Olivia Hunt will put on Dido and Aeneas, an opera in a prologue and three acts, written by English baroque composer Henry Purcell.

It will be semi-staged performance in conjunction with the St Asaph Choral Society on Saturday at 7.30pm at St Mary's Church in Denbigh.

John and Olivia founded Ensemble 1677 in late 2016. They have performed eight concerts to date and have ventured to Cornwall, Bristol and Shropshire to perform a further 10.

John said: “The idea is to bring the genre of early music to new audiences around the UK. We have also been broadcast regularly on the BBC's ‘Introducing’ scheme.

“The opera will be the climax of our first year. This work is reputed to be only the second British opera to have been written and was Purcell's first such work.”  

Dido and Aeneas is a tragedy, detailing the love of a young King and Queen. 

John added: “King Dido is tricked by an evil spirit and the workings of witches into abandoning his queen, Dido, who then dies of a broken heart.

”The text is depicted with dramatic effect by the music and is quite impressionistic in parts for its time.”

Email:

suzanne.kendrick@nwn.co.uk

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