August 24, 2023

LNM and David Bates present ‘Dido & Aeneas’, Purcell’s Most Widely Admired Work

Pentatone releases Purcell Dido & Aeneas, together with La Nuova Musica and its artistic director David Bates, in September 2023.

Emotional Depth And Evocative Power: The Perfect English Opera

La Nuova Musica and its artistic director David Bates present Henry Purcell’s most widely admired work Dido and Aeneas. With Nathum Tate’s libretto based on Virgil’s Aeneid Book IV, Dido and Aeneas is a miniature opera, as well as the only all-sung opera Purcell ever composed.

Constantly juxtaposing different moods, colours, orchestrations, this semi-opera enjoys the popularity for its “tunefulness, evocative power, and […] its conciseness”. The guiding star that David Bates wants to follow for this recording is making sure that Purcell’s Italian, French, and English musical influences are all emphasized – by adding a typically Italian harp to the continuo or by doubling the strings with winds in the French tradition. Dido and Aeneas includes one of the most touching operatic laments “When I am laid in earth”.

A cast of first-class singers with strong musical personalities offer an eclectic interpretation together with a chorus that creates a visceral and intrinsically dramatic soundworld. Dido and Aeneas is David Bates and La Nuova Musica’s fourth release, after the acclaimed Gluck Orfeo and Euridice (2019) and Handel’s Unsung Heroes (2021), as well as Beauteous Softness (2023) where they joined forces with Tim Mead. Counter-tenor Tim Mead previously released Pentatone’s Handel Messiah (2020) with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Star tenor Nicky Spence, Fleur Barron, Matthew Brook, Giulia Semenzato all make their Pentatone debut.

La Nuova Musica’s first visit to the BBC Proms was a massive success, and the opportunity to go into the studio shortly afterwards to record Dido, unmissable. We are delighted to be able to offer a fresh take on one of the most important and iconic of all British operas to a world-wide audience. We are hugely grateful to all those trusts and individuals who supported us in making this recording.

La Nuova Musica

Digital Release Date: 22 SEPTEMBER 2023

Physical Release: SEPTEMBER 2023

Released as 1 CD and in digital formats for streaming and high-resolution downloads.