Remembering Dido

>> Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'll never forget the first time I heard this magnificent aria. I was a young, freshman college music major, sitting in a music appreciation class. When my professor played a recording of "Dido's Lament" from Henry Purcell's opera, Dido and Aeneas, I thought it was the most beautiful piece of music I'd ever heard. To this day it still ranks up there for me. Over thirty years later, as a graduate voice student, I actually had the honor of singing this masterpiece, making it one of the stars of my repertoire. Later the same year, I sang the role of The Sorceress in OSU's production of Dido and Aeneas, which was composed by Purcell in the year 1689 and first performed by a girl's school in London.

Here is a recording of "Dido's Lament" as sung by mezzo soprano, Anne Sophie von Otter. Her particular rendition of this tender and tragic aria is by far one of the best I've heard. The voice is mature and clear, but not overblown as so many mezzos can be, and it lends itself well to the piece.

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