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Come away fellow sailors

Opera details:

Opera title:

Dido and Aeneas


Henry Purcell




Dido and Aeneas Synopsis


Dido and Aeneas Libretto



Aria details:









Previous scene: Grove's dance
Next scene: Sailer's dance

A complete version of Henry Purcell's "Dido & Aeneas" (No. 5. The Departure of Aeneas) (Catherine Bott, Emma Kirkby, John Mark Ainsley, Julianne Baird, David Thomas, Sara Stowe, Daniel Lochmann, Michael Chance)

Singer(s): John Mark Ainsley Julianne Baird Michael Chance Catherine Bott Emma Kirkby

I've divided the work itself into several sections, each centered around a key situation of the work. Thus, the present section could be called "the Departure of Aeneas".

First, let us note the cast:

Dido - Catherine Bott,
Belinda - Emma Kirkby,
Aeneas - John Mark Ainsley,
Second woman - Julianne Baird,
Sorceress - David Thomas,
Witches - Elizabeth Friday & Sara Stowe,
First sailor - Daniel Lochmann,
Spirit - Michael Chance.

1. No. 14. "Come away, fellow sailors", an invocation of the joy Aeneas' men experience as they prepare to leave for Italy which brings a stunning contrast to the lovers' subsequent tragic meeting.

2. "See the flags and streamers curling", this time the witches have an opportunity to tell us of their happiness at their plan's success. This section is difficult to amply categorize as it features several contrasting movements, ranging from a simple recitative to a canon duet for the two witches and the Sorceress' arioso-like call.

3. No. 15. "Destruction's our delight", an echo of the witches' first chorus, though with a faster tempo, followed by a celebratory dance.

4. "Your counsel all is urged in vain", Dido appears in the port to see for herself that her lover is about too leave, just as she was ready to resign herself to love. Aeneas is unsure of what he is to do, prepared to stay and disobey his duty, though now it is Dido who reminds him of his responsibilities and urges him to leave her.

5. No. 16. "Away, away! No, no, away!", a short duettino for the lovers (the only time they sing together, in fact) as they part from each other.

6. "But Death, alas, I cannot shun", a contrasting slow recitative sung almost in one breath as the Queen prepares for death.

Hope you'll enjoy :)!

Watch videos with other singers performing Come away fellow sailors:


repeated by Chorus
Come away, fellow sailors, your anchors be weighing,
Time and tide will admit no delaying.
Take a boozy short leave of your nymphs on the shore,
And silence their mourning
With vows of returning
But never intending to visit them more.

English Libretto or Translation:

Not entered separately yet.

Full English translation Dido and Aeneas

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