The Strada Stretta Concept, under the auspices of the Valletta 2018 Foundation presents ‘DIDO’, an opera in a prologue and three acts, written by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell with a libretto by Nahum Tate, under the artistic direction of Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci, on the 24th November at The Splendid, Valletta.
In this novel production of Dido, Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci, with apologies to Purcell but without his permission, is attempting to place Dido back in its Greco-Roman-Virgilian origins: humankind as pawns in the gods’ chess-play. The defeated Trojans will have their revenge against the victorious Greeks by establishing Rome with the help of the gods, but at a price: Aeneas has to give up his one and only true love, Dido.
Despite all the powers gods had, and still have, they nevertheless needed to trick Aeneas into transforming the beauty of redamancy into the doomed unrequited love that indubitably ends in suicidal tragedy and also in the total destruction of Carthage, Malta’s neighbour, precisely because Carthage opened up its ports, welcomed the Trojans, and offered them only love: never dreaming a love so strong could ever be broken.
This love was divinely broken and destroyed, and in order not to resurrect yet again, Carthage experienced a whole itinerary of destruction until its ultimate annihilation during the third Punic war in which Malta sided with the Romans, the descendants of Aeneas.
Jose Maria Castro Alonso
Mikiel Cumbo ‘l-iżgej’
Anġlu Theuma ‘il-kina’
Johnny Saliba ‘ta’ Birżebbuġa’
Special thanks to Jason Masini.