Music students from the University of Northampton will tell the tale of Henry Purcell’s heart-breaking love story, Dido and Aeneas, when they perform their first ever opera at the Royal & Derngate Theatre next month.
Under the tutelage of senior lecturer Jasmine Shadrack - choirmaster and musical director - the students will act out the love story between Dido, Queen of Carthage, and her warrior lover, Aeneas, Prince of Troy, before being tainted with witchcraft and betrayal.
Stacey Pierre and Andres Stoddard are playing the lead characters of Dido and Aeneas and will be joined on stage by a full choir and band, made up of students mainly on the Popular Music courses, but also from other programs within the Faculty of Art, Science and Technology.
As this is the first opera performance the students have worked on, the students have had additional training in operatic singing.
Stacey said: “I have really enjoyed the whole process. It has been quite intense with regard to rehearsals and content, but I can really see how much our hard work is paying off.
"I was lucky enough to have had basic classical training prior to this, but it;s been great to have a professionally trained singer assist us in some of our sessions, which has been extremely helpful and has made me feel a lot more confident in myself.
“I'm looking forward being in the venue, hearing the acoustics and experiencing what it's like to perform in a real theatre. I think this will be the perfect way to end a fantastic experience at the university.
The performance of Dido and Aeneas will take place on Saturday, June 10 at 7:30pm at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton.
Tickets can be booked via the Royal & Derngate website and are £15.50 each.
Andres said: “It’s been a great experience and I have found that I am learning different things every day.
"The choral pattern has been a bit difficult to learn, but on the whole, it’s been good to step out of my comfort zone. I am looking forward to performing my solo part especially in a prestigious theatre setting.”