Jan Decorte, Richard Egarr & B’rock @ Kaaitheater

Written by BrusselsLife Team - 07 Jan 2008, 00:00 (Updated: 13 Dec 2012, 07:59)
Jan Decorte, Richard Egarr & B’rock @ Kaaitheater
In September 2006 Jan Decorte fulfilled a long cherished wish: the creation of an opera. Dido and Aeneas (1689) is the only true opera by the English baroque composer Henry Purcell. Together with the English conductor Richard Egarr and a select cast, Jan Decorte made this Dido and Aeneas into an unforgettable event.

The opera tells of the short visit made by the Trojan hero Aeneas to Carthage, the North African city whose queen is Dido: he arrives, they fall in love, he leaves, she dies. But all this takes place with a musical and theatrical intensity that touches one very deeply. Decorte sets the highly distilled simplicity of his theatrical means against the simplicity of the story. The palace is a room with golden walls and a doorway, an anchor is sufficient to evoke the harbour, and a placard with the word ‘wood’ immediately leads us into a wood. At the same time, this playful and childlike theatrical language refers to the history of theatre and opera: they are the same means, reduced to their essence, that were used on stage in the 17th and 18th centuries. In their turn, the acting and singing correspond to this simple abstraction: the whole spectrum of human feelings is represented by simple facial expressions and gestures, from extremely comical to deeply tragic.

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