Published: 16 May 2011 at 11:48
World premiere of Aeneas in Hell to be staged at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge
Marina Karagianni is delighted to be returning to Anglia Ruskin University later this month to star in the world premiere staging of Aeneas in Hell at the Mumford Theatre in Cambridge.
The mezzo-soprano, who was born in South Africa and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece, is playing the role of Dido in both Henry Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and the prequel Aeneas in Hell from 24-28 May.
Marina moved to Cambridge from Greece in 2003 to study for an MA in Music, and while at Anglia Ruskin she was awarded a postgraduate bursary to fund her research into the music of Percy Grainger.
As a soloist Marina has sung music by Durufle, Mozart and Berio, and last month she performed some of Handel’s cantatas at St Martin in the Fields in London. Marina’s opera experience includes appearing in Paul Bunyan, by Benjamin Britten, and Dido & Aeneas. This summer she will be taking part in Co-Opera’s production of the Magic Flute in London and on tour around the UK.
The new opera, Aeneas in Hell, has been devised by British librettist and music critic Paul Griffiths as a prequel to Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, and is based on a later episode in Virgil’s epic poem Aeneid. Aeneas in Hell uses spoken text to link the musical numbers, which come from theatre scores originally written by Purcell for other pieces.
Dido & Aeneas relates the tragic story of Dido, the Queen of Carthage, and her love for the Trojan prince, Aeneas, who abandons her in pursuit of the establishment of a new Troy. Performed before Dido & Aeneas, but recounting Aeneas’s meeting with Dido after she has killed herself, Aeneas in Hell propels Aeneas towards a reliving of his crucial betrayal.
Paul Griffiths, who was a music critic for The Times before writing for The New York Times and The New Yorker, said:
Anglia Opera’s production, directed by Simon Bell, and designed by John Clarke from the Cambridge School of Art, conceives the two pieces as a single chain of events, with common characters and motifs occurring throughout.
Anglia Opera, which consists of outstanding young professional soloists combined with a full orchestra and chorus drawn from students in the Department of Music & Performing Arts, will be staging the double bill at Anglia Ruskin’s Mumford Theatre between 24-28 May, although there will be no performance on Thursday 26 May.Tickets cost £12 (£10 concessions and £7 students) and are available by calling 0845 196 2320 or by visiting https://tickets.mumfordtheatre.anglia.ac.uk/PEO/