Opera in a prologue and three acts
Henry Purcell’s “Dido & Aeneas” is often described as the oldest love story in English opera. The production was a premiere for Sasha Waltz, marking the beginning of her work on “choreographic opera”. Together with 12 dancers from her ensemble and 51 musicians choristers and soloists, Sasha Waltz has created her own interpretation of the opera “Dido and Aeneas”. The emotional and multi-faceted world of this, Purcell’s only complete opera, is the starting point for the choreographic work. The choreographic transposition of the opera and the expansion of musical theatre through the medium of dance are at the heart of the “Dido & Aeneas” project. The combination of various genres and art forms has been the main focus of the work of Sasha Waltz in recent years. This has led to the realisation of such diverse projects as “Dialoge’99” at the Jewish Museum, “17-25/4” in and around the Mendelssohn building on Rosa Luxemburg Platz and the dance installation “insideout”. With the adaptation of Schubert’s “Impromptus” which premiered in April 2005, the ensemble has turned to classical music and entered a new creative phase of its evolution.
Staging an opera was therefore a logical step in Sasha Waltz’s artistic biography. With “Dido & Aeneas”, Sasha Waltz successfully combines dance, music and song in a completely new way for the opera. Singers and choristers are part of an overall choreography, which sets them loose from their original roles and functions. In Dido’s final aria, it is no longer clear who is a singer, dancer, soloist or choir member. With the help of the impressive ensemble, Sasha Waltz’s choreography goes far beyond the mere illustration of the opera’s story. The opera “Dido & Aeneas”, a myth of flight, expulsion and love in times of war was acclaimed at its premiere in 2005 and at countless guest performances since.