Tune of the Day: Dido's Lament
A monumental work in Baroque opera, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas is among the first English operas. Its first known performance took place in London no later 1688. The story is based on Virgil's Aeneid, and recounts the love story of Dido, Queen of Carthage and the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair at his abandonment of her.
What is most remarkable about this work is Dido's death aria, "When I am laid in earth", arguably one of the most beautiful opera arias ever written. Also known as Dido's Lament, the piece opens with a descending chromatic line, which is repeated eleven times throughout the aria. For this reason, Dido's Lament is included in many classical music textbooks for its exemplary use of ground bass.
Thanks to Sam for suggesting this piece!