|First witch||Clare Kirk|
|Second witch||Cathy Black|
|Aesculapius Carboy||Gavin Evans|
|Eliza Smith||Susan Moore|
|Thomas Brown||James Mitchell|
|Mr Grinder||Don Crerar|
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.
Photos — the Dido/Zoo Gallery