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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Role of Dido in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas McArthur, Beverly Joan

Abstract

This thesis is comprised of the role of Dido from Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Dido is the opera's tragic heroine, the Queen of Carthage who falls in love with Aeneas, a Trojan Prince. The role of Dido may be played by a Soprano, however it strongly suits the colour of the Mezzo-Soprano voice. Dido also requires a singer with the ability to gain sympathy from the audience while at the same time retaining her stature as ruler and founder of Carthage. The Sorceress, a character who can be portrayed as Dido's foil, conspires against the lovers. She orchestrates the downfall of Dido and Aeneas and ultimately pushes Dido to the decision to take her own life.

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