Eboracum Baroque's Dido and Aeneas was an eagerly awaited Fringe offering. A short work, it contains some genuinely great music and can be performed effectively with relatively modest resources. This new company did not disappoint. After a hesitant opening, the performance developed to provide moments of real impact that belied the youth of the performers. Simply presented there wasn't a weakness, with the chorus particularly outstanding. The actions of the cast were typically restrained with the exception of the witches, caricatures appropriate to their time and to the piece. The love affair between Dido (Jessica Conway) and Aeneas (John Holland Avery) was sufficiently indicated, and Dido rose to the challenge of her great lament. Chris Parsons led the small band from the harpsichord and provided the direction. It is to be hoped that these talented musicians will be encouraged to return next year. This was a pleasantly intimate and rewarding account of Purcell's opera.
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