Dido Dido (2017)

An aria re-membered
is an up-close confrontation with mythical Queen Dido's tragic fate. Director/choreographer Nicole Beutler and her musical counterpart Romain Bischoff took their inspiration for this performance from Henry Purcell's most celebrated aria: 'Dido's Lament' from the opera Dido and Aeneas. Defeated by love and forsaken by her people, Dido decides to take her own life. "Remember me, but forget my fate."

It is the paradox in these last words however, that make her fate so hard to forget. Five singer-musicians and one dancer are impassioned by Dido, as they breathe life into a puppet, based on the Japanese tradition of bunraku. As in a feverish dream they penetrate the very heart of Dido's despair and will-power. With instruments from different corners of the world they deconstruct, repeat and rearrange the classical aria. In doing so, they are delaying the inevitable end, carving out time and space for a gentle letting go. DIDO DIDO is an incantational parting opera that crawls deep under the skin.

“Eventually everyone caves into the sheer force of Purcell's notes. The performance ends with a blow in the face.” (...) “You try watching that dry-eyed.” Volkskrant ★★★★

“It is such a well-loved piece of music, that it challenges artists to do something special with it. (...) Romain Bischoff, music director of the eccentric opera ensemble Silbersee, and director and choreographer Nicole Beutler have lived up to that challenge, successfully.” (...) “Very very beautiful.” Theaterkrant ★★★★

“Dido Dido is extractively pure theatre of body, voice and breath that captivates the attention with a strong rhythm and beautiful finds.” (...) “It starts off already with a brilliantly developed recitation relay, in which six characters declaim individual words in alternation, faster and faster, and then collectively, after which the buzzing itself becomes a rhythm moving in and out of sync. At precisely the right moment you are enthralled by a hummed version of the aria.” (...) “Each of the performers sing, move and perform the music magnificently and with a pleasing disregard for the boundaries of genre.” NRC

“Don't deny yourself what may well be the most beautiful piece you'll ever see.” (...) “And it is sung so terrifically well that for an instant you imagine yourself out of this world. And can only think: may this never end. The story becomes the world; for a moment, there's nothing outside of it. This is so intensely well done, epically beautiful, surreally magnificent.” (...) “To lock it inside your heart and keep it as one of the finest memories that theatre can offer.” Musicalnieuws.nl ★★★★★

Concept Nicole Beutler, Romain Bischoff | Director & choreographer Nicole Beutler| Music director Romain Bischoff | Co-creators & performers Maya Alban-Zapata, Raphaela Danksagmüller, Arnout Lems, Michaela Riener, Tiemo Wang, Heather Ware | Puppet design & puppetry coaching
 Ulrike Quade| Costumes Jessica Helbach | Set & lighting design Sascha van Riel | Music Henry Purcell, Wouter Snoei and performers | Assistant director & dramaturge Fabienne Vegt | Puppet maker Watanabe Kazunori. DIDO DIDO is supported by Amsterdams fonds voor de kunst, Fonds 21, VSBfonds, Fonds Podiumkunsten.

For more information about this production, please contact Jimmy-Pierre de Graaf.