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Dido, Königin von Carthago (‘Dido, Queen of Carthage’)locked

  • Thomas Bauman

Extract

Singe-Spiel in three acts by Christoph Graupner to a libretto by Hinrich Hinsch; Hamburg, Theater am Gänsemarkt, spring 1707.

Dido, upbraided by Juno in a dream, fears that Aeneas will abandon her. Her sister Anna tries to cheer her up; she herself feigns indifference to the advances of Juba, Prince of Tyre. Meanwhile, Dido’s confidante Iras tries in vain to move the cold heart of Achates, and the Numidian king Hiarbas [Iarbas] finds his love for Dido spurned now that Aeneas is on the scene. Secretly among her retinue, Iarbas orders a messenger to ask for her hand and, when refused, to announce hostilities. Dido calls for a sacrifice, and choice falls by lot on Iarbas himself, who accepts his fate. But a bolt of lightning halts the proceeding. Meanwhile, visitations from Mercury and Venus have induced Aeneas to leave for Italy, using the opportunity of a mock sea battle. Dido, stricken, mounts an altar to Hecate and falls on Aeneas’s sword; Iras, seeing Achates flown as well, follows suit. Anna accepts her sister’s crown and sceptre and gives her heart at last to Juba....

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