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A tragic opera in three acts will be presented Thursday and Friday [MARCH 6-7] by the East Central University Opera Theatre and Chorus. "Dido and Aeneas" by Henry Purcell will begin at 8 p.m. in Faust Hall Auditorium.

Caitlin Gray will sing the role of Dido, the widowed queen of Carthage who entertains the Trojan Prince Aeneas, portrayed by Jim Gordon. Aeneas is shipwrecked on his way to Italy, where he will found a new Troy.

Dido and Aeneas fall in love, but witches plot Dido's destruction. The sorceress and her two witches conjure a storm to break out when the royal couple is hunting, as well as the impersonation of Jove, King of the Roman Gods.

When the storm comes, the courtiers hurry back to town and the false Jove orders Aeneas to leave Dido and sail for Italy. Aeneas and his sailors prepare to leave, to the delight of the witches. Aeneas parts from Dido, who dies of grief once he has gone.

The cast includes Ginelle Gordon as Belinda, Dido’s confidante; Nick Geisler as the sorceress; Mary Sumner and Casaundra Taylor as witches; Danna Howry as the attendant; Chris Geisler as a sailor and Tim Long and Roger Hays as a spirit.

The opera will be directed and conducted by Dr. Melody Baggech. Dr. Steve Walker will direct the chorus. The production will be staged by Dr. Alan Marshall with Rudy Lupinski as harpsichord accompanist.

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