Dido’s Lament

A short clip for the last aria of Dido, Queen of Carthago, from Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas.

This short video, made together with some others using only my iPhone and a nice 8mm-video app, has been published a couple of months ago on the YouTube Channel of Conductus Ensemble lead by composer friend Marcello Fera in Meran, Italy.

Apart from my love for this opera, for this aria, and apart from the fact that I’m already thinking about a painting of Dido (which would have nothing to do with Purcell’s opera, by the way), now I’d like to spend some more words about the location of this video.

It has been filmed at the Volksgarten, a public garden in the very heart of Vienna, where strangely enough there’s a Theseustempel, a replica of the Greek temple Theseion. This was not the reason why I decided to make the short clip there, though in the end I couldn’t help thinking about the strong connection between Ariadne abandoned by Theseus and Dido abandoned by Aeneas. Nothing happens by chance, after all.

The park is also very famous for its rose garden, which has over 1.000 bushes of many different kind of roses. What is less known: roses can be ‘adopted’ and then get plates with names, or dedications. During the winter, to protect them from the cold bushes are kept covered with jute sacks recycled from food packages.

It’s a strange image: wrapped up brushes carrying plates with names and dates. It made me think about veiled women, moarning ghosts, and a graveyard. About dying Dido as the first of a long series of abandoned women.

If you wish to see more of my short videos you can visit my vimeo channel, here the lyrics of the aria (recitative not included in the video).

Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me,
On thy bosom let me rest,
More I would, but Death invades me;
Death is now a welcome guest.
When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.

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