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To the hills and the vales

Opera details:

Opera title:

Dido and Aeneas


Henry Purcell




Dido and Aeneas Synopsis


Dido and Aeneas Libretto



Choir details:




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Previous scene: Pursue thy conquest love
Next scene: The triumphing dance

A complete version of Henry Purcell's "Dido & Aeneas" (No. 2. Aeneas' Introduction) (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, second section could be called "Aeneas' introduction".

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. "See, your royal guest appears", Aeneas enters, with all professing how luminous his presence is, with only Dido still fighting herself, while Aeneas has clearly forgotten himself in Dido's eyes.

2. No. 5. "Cupid only throws the dart", a romantic, hushed chorus as the retinue of the monarchs gossip on the future of their rulers.

3. "If not for mine", an arioso-like recitative for Aeneas that seems to become an aria but never truly does. Aeneas is surprisingly lacking in vocal presence in an opera where he is the main male hero, only appearing in several recitative passages and a duettino with Dido. Still, his role is pivotal for the plot, as he is the one that tries to ignore his duty in favor of loving Dido, while the latter experience quite different feelings, in spite of her love for the hero.

4. No. 6. "Pursue, thy conquest, Love", Belinda's aria put into a very interesting ABA form, unusual so early into the baroque period, as the confidante celebrates the future happiness of her lady.

5. No. 7. "To the hills and the vales", a finishing chorus flanked by two dances for the retinues, contrasting with Dido's reserve.

Hope you'll enjoy :)!

Watch videos with other singers performing To the hills and the vales:


To the hills and the vales, to the rocks and the mountains,
To the musical groves and the cool shady fountains.
Let the triumphs of love and of beauty be shown.
Go revel, ye Cupids, the day is your own.

English Libretto or Translation:

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Full English translation Dido and Aeneas

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