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Baroque masterpieces to be performed at Shrewsbury's Theatre Severn

This February the Armonico Consort, one of the UK's leading choir and period instrument ensembles, will return to Theatre Severn. They will be performing English composers Purcell's tragic opera 'Dido and Aenas' and composer Pergolesi's 'Stabat mater'.

Dramatic, tragic and powerful, Dido and Aenas tells the tale of a queen, a soldier and an illicit love. Written in in the late 1680's, it is the only full Opera English composer Purcell ever penned. Although widely regarded as the composer's masterpiece it was, tragically, only performed once during his lifetime.

The moving work culminates with Dido's Lament, a piece called 'When I am laid in earth'. This is one of the finest arias in English opera and has been much used in TV and film soundtracks, and annually as part of the Armistice Day commemorations at London's Whitehall.

Yvette Bonner sings the title role of Dido, Elin Manahan Thomas is Belinda with Gareth John as Aeneas.

As a companion piece the Armonico Consort will also share with local audiences Pergolesi's 'Stabat Mater', which was written during the final weeks of the 26-year old composer's life. Featuring soloists Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano) and countertenor William Towers and based around a 13th Century Hymn, this deeply moving piece is widely recognised as the definitive setting of the spiritual text and has been described as 'the master work of Latin music'.

Theatre spokesman Pip Bayley said 'We are thrilled to have the Armonico Consort with us again at Theatre Severn. They were so well received on their last visit, I am sure they will enchant Shropshire audiences again, even those who have not experienced live classical music before'

Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas' and Pergolesi's 'Stabat Mater' will be performed by The Armonico Consort at Theatre Severn on Sunday Ferbruay 14th. Tickets are available by visiting the venues website at The Theatre Severn website or by contacting the Box Office on 01743 281 281