Kennet Opera offer two productions for the price of one – and what a bill! Though both by English composers, it would be hard to find more contrasting pieces. Purcell’s unspeakably moving Dido and Aeneas chronicles the doomed affair of the queen of Carthage and the Trojan hero. With some of the most heart-rending arias in all opera, including the famous lament, it also presents sorcerers and spirits, sailors and courtiers, in a succession of pulsating, passionate choruses.
From the sublime… to Arthur Sullivan. A real rarity, The Zoo is an early work, with a ludicrous plot set to a rollicking and charming score. Aesculpius, hopelessly in love with the lovely Laetitia, determines to hurl himself into the bear pit at London Zoo. With interventions from the virtuous Eliza, a disguised peer of the realm, Laetitia’s overbearing father, and the appalled crowd, will love prevail? I think we all know the answer.