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Arts & Culture
The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

Gods Smile Down On Opera Piccola

San Antonio’s Opera Piccola is mounting its next production, and the three year-old company goes way back in time for this one. I spoke to Opera Piccola’s Music Director Kristin Roach.

“It’s a wonderful, charming story about, a love story but also the intervention of the Gods.”

Those Gods are the Greek ones and the opera is Dido and Aeneas, based on Virgil’s Aeneid.

"The opera by Henry Purcell was written three hundred and twenty-seven years ago. Purcell was an instructor at a school and he wrote this piece originally for his students to perform. It’s become one of the most beloved pieces in the operatic repertoire."

As most often happens in Greek mythology, the Gods do mischief to mere earthlings, in this case Dido and Aeneas.

“After her lover Aeneas has been sent off by the Gods to found Rome, she’s left and she sings this famous Aria.”

Roach says an orchestra will play the music live, and on some interesting instruments.

"I will be conducting from the harpsichord. And then we also have Brian DeLay who is a local conductor and also a baroque specialist, and he plays all the plucked instruments, so lute, theorbo and guitar. And then the principle cellist of the symphony, Kenneth Freudigman."

Roach says they really try to get opera up close and personal for those who attend, and she is promising quite an intimate experience this weekend at the Charlene McCombs Empire Theater.

"I don’t want to give too much away but if you’ve seen any of our Facebook posts or any of the media, some of the characters are up on swings.”

We’ve more on Opera Piccola's Dido and Aeneas here.