Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas
Although it takes little more than an hour to perform, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas stands as the greatest operatic achievement of seventeenth-century England. This book demonstrates the opera's deep roots in the theatrical and musical traditions of its day, summarizing the cultural climate in which the opera was composed and analyzing Nahum Tate's libretto in light of seventeenth-century English music text conventions. Harris also evaluates the surviving sources, comparing them with the original libretto, and discusses the work's performance history and critical reception from the first performance through the revivals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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