• Find us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • View Our YouTube Channel
  • Listen on Spotify
  • View our scores on nkoda

English Deutsch
Music Text

Libretto by Nahum Tate (E,G)


4S,S(orT),3M,T(orBar); chorus
strings and continuo

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

Digital Score
Subscribe to nkoda

World premiere of version
Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, London
Joan Cross, director
Conductor: Benjamin Britten
Company: English Opera Group


DIDO, Queen of Carthage Soprano
AENEAS, a Trojan Prince Tenor (or Baritone)
BELINDA, a Lady in Waiting Soprano
SORCERESS Mezzo Soprano
FIRST WITCH Mezzo Soprano
SECOND WITCH Mezzo Soprano
SPIRIT Soprano
FIRST SAILOR Soprano (or Tenor)
Courtiers, Witches and Sailors chorus
Time and Place

Carthage in ancient times


Queen Dido's lady-in-waiting Belinda attempts to cheer up the lovelorn queen: surely the Trojan hero Aeneas returns her love. Dido admits her infatuation, and Aeneas enters to renew his love-suit. Belinda and the chorus encourage Dido's acquiescence and predict a happy outcome. At their cave, however, witches plot Dido and Carthage's downfall. Their spirit, dressed as Mercury, will impress upon Aeneas the need for him to leave immediately and complete his destiny to found Rome as the new Troy. During a hunt, a storm sends Dido and the courtiers back to the city, but Aeneas is held back by Merurcy and submits to his commands. The following day, Aeneas's sailors prepare to leave port. The witches are thrilled, but Dido distraught and angry. Even Aeneas's offer to disobey the gods and stay does not move her: she rejects him. He leaves, and before taking her life she asks Belinda to remember her, but not her fate. The chorus calls on cupids to scatter roses on her tomb.


Romantic, Tragic

Recommended Recording

Claire Watson/Peter Pears/English Opera Group/Benjamin Britten
BBC Legends BBCB 8003-2

To purchase this CD from Amazon, click here now

Stay updated on the latest composer news and publications