Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Purcell/Baker - "When I Am Laid in Earth"

Also known as "Dido's Lament," this aria comes from English composer Henry Purcell's short opera Dido and Aeneas (1689). Unfortunately, Purcell died when only 36 (so, as some have observed, the English had to keep importing Germans). This is Janet Baker in a 1966 performance – she was known for this song. I greatly appreciate her commitment to the role as an actress as well as a singer. This comes near the end of the opera. Dido's true love Aeneas is leaving, and though he vows to return, Dido knows it shall never be. Naturally, there's nothing to do but to sing a heart-wrenching song, and die.

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