On Feb. 16-17, students from the Central College music department will be performing Henry Purcell’s opera “Dido and Aeneas.”
Purcell, a 17th century English composer, was one of the most noted composers of his era, composing two full operas during his life. “Dido and Aeneas” is loosely based on Virgil’s “Aeneid.” The one-hour opera tells the ill-fated love story of Aeneas, a Trojan prince and Dido, Queen of Carthage.
The opera will be accompanied by members of the Central College-Community Orchestra and Brian Nolder, pastor at Christ the Redeemer Church in Pella, on harpsichord.
“The opera is a good experience for students because it exposes them to an art form that they do not see or hear every day,” said junior Brandon Mennenoh, who plays the Spirit disguised as Mercury and is also a chorus member in the opera. “We have to work together as a team to make sure the opera runs smoothly from start to finish. Opera has always been an interest of mine, so it is an honor for me to be a part of this production and work with some of Central College’s most talented musicians.”
Three music faculty members assisted in the production: Professor of music Anne Petrie, stage director; visiting assistant professor of music Diane Phoenix-Neal, conductor; and associate professor of music Mark Babcock, chorus master. Cynthia Prickett Beschel, a professional dancer and dance instructor, designed the choreography.
Performances will be held in the Chapel on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. Tickets are required due to limited seating. The free tickets can be picked up at the Cox-Snow Music Center office. Reserve in advance by calling 641-628-5236.