Dido (Tamsin Slatter) and Aeneas (Luke Deacon) stand before the sorceress.

The casts:

Dido and Aeneas

Dido Tamsin Slatter
Aeneas Luke Deacon
Belinda Rachel Crisp
Anna Lucy Fitt
Sorceress Susan Moore
First witchClare Kirk
Second witch Cathy Black
TrojanAnt Goffart
SacrificeCamilla Kirk

The Zoo

Aesculapius Carboy Gavin Evans
Eliza Smith Susan Moore
Thomas Brown James Mitchell
Laetitia Rachel Crisp
Mr Grinder Don Crerar

Dido & Aeneas / The Zoo: 2018

Stage directors Don Crerar (Dido) and Jim Petts (The Zoo); Music director Justin Bindley; Set designer Suzanne Thomson; Costumes Lili Tuttle and Helen Ryan.

We billed our programme as 'Two extremes, two masterpieces — the most poignant; the most preposterous'. We could have added that it was a showcase for two of only three English composers whose operas are regularly performed around the world (the the third being Benjamin Britten).

At extremes they may be. But the two pieces have things in common too. They're both about dying for love (OK, failing miserably to do it in The Zoo); and they both suffered long spells of oblivion – in Dido's case, incredibly, from 1704 to 1895. That's all over now of course.

It was great to have young singers from places near Newbury joining us this year, singing major roles: Aeneas, Belinda, Laetitia and Carboy; and also to welcome Susan Moore (Sorceress and Eliza) back to the Newbury stage after many years.


His rank revealed, the Duke of Islington (James Mitchell) begs the people not to kneel.

More about this production

Photos — the Dido/Zoo Gallery


What our directors thought