BRAG’s got some exciting news for you and it involves an opera partially performed underwater. Yes, that’s right. Underwater!

Sydney Festival 2014, running from January 9-26, has made an early announcement: contemporary dance-theatre choreographer Sasha Waltz‘s epic retelling of Henry Purcell’s Baroque opera Dido & Aeneasis coming to Sydney for an Australian exclusive. The oldest love story in English opera will be brought to life by 60 dances, singers and musicians at the Sydney Lyric from January 16-21.

Waltz uses water (heated, of course) as a central motif in her realisation of the myth that tells the story of Dido Queen of Carthage and Trojan hero Aeneas’ unrequited love and Dido’s despair when Aeneas abandons her. In one of the most ambitious theatrical stagings, Waltz opens the show with an aquatic prologue where a giant water tank, raised several metres off the floor, plays hosts to diving and weaving dancers who stay submerged for impossibly long times. “Sasha is one of the few choreographers of her generation that has such a fantastic talent for large-scale work,” says Festival Director Lieven Bertels.

The Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin (Academy for Ancient Music Berlin) condcted by Christopher Moulds will perform the live score, joined by French mezzo-soprano Aurore Ugolin (Dido), British baritone Reuben Willcox (Aeneas) and chamber choir Vocalconsort Berlin.

Tickets go on sale 12pm Thursday August 8. Visit ticketmaster.com.au for bookings.

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