Royston Choral Society perform first ‘real’ English opera as finale to first season under award-winning conductor

PUBLISHED: 10:26 13 June 2016

Royston Choral Society are getting ready for the concert.

Royston Choral Society are getting ready for the concert.


Royston Choral Society members are getting set to serve up a double dose of the work of one of Britain’s most celebrated composers.

The legend of Dido and Aeneas has been a popular subject for artists through the agesThe legend of Dido and Aeneas has been a popular subject for artists through the ages

In a double bill celebrating the work of Henry Purcell the society will perform what’s recognised as the most successful early English opera as well as a royal birthday bonus.

The opera Dido and Aeneas, with a libretto by poet laureate Nahum Tate, was first performed in 1689 while Come Ye Sons of Art, an ode composed for the birthday of Queen Mary, had its debut five years later.

The society’s Jenny Leitch said: “This is Purcell’s greatest work and the first real English opera, telling the story of the tragic love affair between Dido, Queen of Carthage, and Trojan prince Aeneas.

“As the choir and soloists are challenged to characterise cackling witches, sea nymphs and sailors, the audience experiences humanity at its best and worst.

Composer Henry PurcellComposer Henry Purcell

“Triumph, deceit, and the supernatural all conclude with Dido’s fateful yet most beloved aria When I Am Laid In Earth.

“With soprano Nina Bennett, baritone Laurence Williams and a baroque orchestra, this concert will be a stunning finale to our first season under the baton of the award-winning Andrew O’Brien.”

The concert will by staged at the ancient church of St Mary Magdalen in Barkway on Saturday, June 25 at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £12 with £9 concessions available, and school students can get tickets for just £1 from choir members, on the door, or from Caroline Franks.

Call 01920 822723 or email

Tickets are also available at Royston’s parish church of St John the Baptist in Melbourn Street between 7.30pm and 8pm next Tuesday, June 21.

There’s lots more information about the choir online at or you can contact chairman Heather Howard (01763 249058,

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