Jan Decorte, Richard Egarr & B’rock [Brussels/Amsterdam/Ghent]

Dido and Aeneas

Dido and Aeneas
Dido and Aeneas

18.01 – 22.01.2008

In September 2006 Jan Decorte fulfilled a long cherished wish: the creation of an opera. Dido and Aeneas (1689) is the only true opera by the English baroque composer Henry Purcell. Together with the English conductor Richard Egarr and a select cast, Jan Decorte made this Dido and Aeneas into an unforgettable event.

The opera tells of the short visit made by the Trojan hero Aeneas to Carthage, the North African city whose queen is Dido: he arrives, they fall in love, he leaves, she dies. But all this takes place with a musical and theatrical intensity that touches one very deeply. Decorte sets the highly distilled simplicity of his theatrical means against the simplicity of the story. The palace is a room with golden walls and a doorway, an anchor is sufficient to evoke the harbour, and a placard with the word ‘wood’ immediately leads us into a wood.

At the same time, this playful and childlike theatrical language refers to the history of theatre and opera: they are the same means, reduced to their essence, that were used on stage in the 17th and 18th centuries. In their turn, the acting and singing correspond to this simple abstraction: the whole spectrum of human feelings is represented by simple facial expressions and gestures, from extremely comical to deeply tragic.


an opera by Henry Purcell
direction Jan Decorte
conductor Richard Egarr
with Wilke te Brummelstroete (Dido), Maarten Koningsberger (Aeneas), Barbara Hannigan (Belinda), Giles underwood (soreceress), Amaryllis Dieltiens (second wife), Jonathan De Ceuster, Gunther Vandeven (witches), Sigrid Vinks (cupid)
ensemble B’rock
chamber choir Octopus
scenography Johan Daenen, Jan Decorte
costume design Sofie D’hoore, Thijsje Strijpens, Jan Decorte, Sigrid Vinks
lighting design Jan Decorte, Luc Schaltin
production Kaaitheater, in collaboration with Bloet vzw
production 2006 Kaaitheater & Festival van Vlaanderen Brussel, as part of het KlaraFestival van Vlaanderen 2006

B’rock
first violin Albrecht Kühner, Sara Decorso, Liesbeth Nijs, Jürgen Gross
second violin Annelies Decock, Tuomo Suni, Jivka Kaltcheva, Jorge Jimenez
viola Luc Gysbregts, Sabine Dziewior, Frans Vos
cello Catherine Jones, Rebecca Rosen
violone Tom Devaere
harpischord Richard Egarr, Frank Agsteribbe
lute, guitar Bill Carter, Wim Maeseele

Octopus
preparation Bart Van Reyn
soprano Maaike Delbaere, Amy De Sloovere, Laura De Wachter, Nele Gabriëls, Leen Suetens, Daniëlle Van de Vloet
alto Kirsten Buermans, Hans De Strooper, Françoise Driesens, Hermien Heres, Liesbeth Melis, Kerlijne Van Nevel, Marieke Van Hooff
tenor Jos Braeken, Adriaan De Koster, Mark Durivet, Steven Duyck, Dick Vandaele, Thomas Van Vlierberghe, Johan Willemse
bass Koen Eneman, Roel Hendrickx, Erik Hostens, Pascal Lestaeghe, Maurice Maris, Hans Wils, Bart Van Reyn