Mythology, Love and Evil at a Crossroads in Ithaca College’s “Dido and Aeneas”

By Molly Thornton, February 14, 2020
An electrifying retelling of Henry Purcell’s classic opera takes the Hoerner stage.

Ithaca College Theatre Arts presents “Dido and Aeneas,” written by Henry Purcell, with libretto by Nahum Tate. Opening on Feb. 20 in the Hoerner Theatre, “Dido and Aeneas” is a mythical opera based on Virgil’s “Aeneid” that has been dynamically reimagined in a festival filled with lights, extravagance, and spectacle.

Carthage is ruled by a fierce queen, who has fallen for a Trojan prince. When the sorceress spots this weakness in the queen, she utilizes her powers to control the fate of Carthage and its matriarch. Evil, sorcery and love battle against one another, and the disaster that ensues is captivating.

“I thrive on the challenge of creating an event that will always be performed live and will rely on the use of living stagecraft to convey the message of the piece,” said Director Norm Johnson, adding that he is excited about the lessons portrayed in the opera’s telling of this story and the accomplished talents that collaborate in order to tell it.

“Dido and Aeneas” is a collaboration of IC’s prestigious School of Music and the renowned theatre arts program in IC’s School of Humanities and Sciences. These schools attract students from across the globe to learn from the best and brightest in the performing arts fields, and this production is an excellent opportunity to showcase the hard work of students and faculty at Ithaca College.

Ticket Information

Performances will run in the Hoerner Theatre in Dillingham Center from Feb. 20-23 at 8 p.m., with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Feb 23. Tickets are on sale now and range from $10 to $18 and can be purchased in Dillingham Center, by phone at (607) 274-3224, or online at General business hours are noon-5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and noon-4 p.m on Friday.

Dillingham Center accommodates all patrons. Individuals with special needs are asked to contact (607) 274-3224 to request accommodations as soon as possible.

The cast includes Sarah Aliperti, Syona Ayyankeril, Louis Bavaro, Matisse Boor, Daniel Carney, Logan Chaput, Francesco DiLello, Jamila Drecker-Waxman, Asila Folds, Lucas Hickman, Madison Hoerbelt, Catherine Kondi, Jessica Laddin, Cassandra LaRose,

Jaden Levine, Melanie Lota, Ben Monacelli, Emily O’Connor, Anthony Pilcher, Evan Sacco, Olivia Schechtman, Andrew Sprague, Robert Reynolds-Turnage, Isabel Vigliotti, Margot Wegman and Lindsey Weissman.

The “Dido and Aeneas” creative team consists of music director Christopher Zemliauskas, scenic designer Brittany Daggett-Duffy, lighting designer Melanie Spiel, costume designer Greg Robbins, production stage manager Lauren Zurovitch, and dramaturg Agnes Scotti.

Throughout the school year, undergraduates present all aspects of theatre in a professional model. Visit the theatre arts website for more information.