Remember Me… Claudia Molitor’s enigmatic opera in a desk gets underway this week. Ahead of the performances, we looked into who two of the characters, Dido and Eurydice, were.
The story follows an imagined meeting of two legendary figures of Greek mythology, Dido and Eurydice. Separately, Dido and Eurydice are renowned for their appearances in opera – Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (among others) – but who are these mysterious characters and what stories do they have to tell?
According to the Greek tales, Dido was the founder and queen of Carthage, a city on the north coast of Africa. Her love affair with the Trojan hero Aeneas was the inspiration behind Purcell’s opera. Aeneas found himself shipwrecked near her city, and shortly after the pair fell in love. The end of Dido’s life has many variations. In one telling, Dido threw herself into the flames of a funeral pyre after being relentlessly pursued by an unwanted admirer Iarbas and having lost her lover Aeneas as he chose to set sail for Italy. Another says she stabbed a stake through her heart as she mounted the pyre surrounded by her people. Both very tragic but which have inspired many a musical work!
Eurydice is the daughter of Apollo and the wife of masterful musician Orpheus. One day Eurydice was chased through a field by a satyr, stepped on a snake and was killed instantly by its venomous bite. Orpheus was distraught and made it his mission to retrieve her from the Underworld. Taking his lyre as he went, Orpheus played the most mournful tunes he could to soften the hearts of the Lord of the Underworld Hades and his wife Persephone. They agreed that Eurydice could return with him but only if Orpheus didn’t turn around as he made his way out. Just as he was nearing the edge of the Underworld, Orpheus was overwhelmed with the thought that Hades had tricked him and turned to check if his lover was following him. At that moment, Eurydice was snatched back into the depths of Hade’s lair, destined to remain in the darkness.
To see how the two characters meet (in a desk!), join us for these much-awaited performances of Claudia’s Remember Me today and tomorrow (Monday 9 & Tuesday 10 December) at Rivington Place. Tickets can be purchased via our website, with discounts are available for students, jobseekers and under 26s.