BGSU Opera Theater presents new interpretation of “Dido and Aeneas”

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green Opera Theater presents a bold new interpretation of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” transporting the classic tragedy from ancient Carthage to fictional present-day Carthage High School. Featuring supplemental music from the composer’s “Masque of Love,” performances will begin at 8 p.m. Nov. 2, and 3 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts.

The production addresses the epidemic of adolescent bullying, substance abuse and suicide. Departing from Purcell’s setting of the story, in which the Queen of Carthage takes her life after losing the Trojan Prince Aeneas to malicious supernatural interference, the Bowling Green version shrinks the classical monarchy structure down to the microcosm of the high school. Dido is the valedictorian, queen of scholarship, and she is pitted against the prom queen. This production explores the dichotomy of the oppression often experienced by those who seek the protection of social conformity and the relative expressive freedom felt by those who are ostracized by society.

The opera features stage direction by Dr. Sean Cooper, musical direction by Dr. Emily Freeman Brown and musical preparation by Kevin Bylsma. BGSU students in lead roles include students Rachel Taylor as Dido, Benjamin Laur as Aeneas, Grace Hirt as Belinda and Stephanie Tokarz as the Sorceress. Members of the Bowling Green Philharmonia and vocal music students fill out the cast.

Tickets can be purchased online at $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and $1.75 for BGSU students. Day-of-performance tickets can be purchased for $12 for adults and $9 for all students. To purchase tickets online, visit more information, call the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171.