DIDO 2020

In an attempt to keep the peace, Dido, Queen of Carthage agrees to marry Trojan Prince, Aeneas. As feelings grow, a blissful future seems certain. But unbeknownst to the happy couple, lurking spirits threaten to tear them apart and a tragic fate awaits…

Friday 4 & Sunday 6 September 2020

For the inaugural Vache Baroque Festival, Henry Purcell’s opera Dido & Aeneas played to two sell-out audiences. Guests were invited to arrive early to enjoy picnics in the grounds, as well as to experience sound installations and pop up pre-show performances linked to the themes of the opera.


“Vache Baroque Festival opens with a fine Dido and Aeneas in stunning surroundings…  Interludes are lit up by a pair of dancers, who were thrilling to watch, throwing everything into Ukweli Roach’s multi-genre, multi-era choreography and nailing their moves with rare precision… the parkland that surrounds the Vache is spectacular… with its laden orchard and variety of ancient trees.” 


“Bray is a commanding, intense and ultimately tragic actor… she had excellent support from Jolyon Loy’s tall, handsomely sung Aeneas… A cold but musically rewarding evening.”

The Sunday Times

“An astonishingly immediate acoustic… there was nothing makeshift about the event… led from the harpsichord by Darbourne, the instrumentalists communicated joy in their playing without compromising grace or precision…”

Opera Magazine

An instrumental period ensemble of six gave a thrilling performance… The choreography was… sensational… It was an intimate performance with just the right dose of sensuality and sparkle… a truly noteworthy launch pad for what I hope will be the first of many operas by Vache Baroque Festival.”

Diary of a Londoness


“Brilliant festival and totally uplifting!”

“It was all splendid. Very thoughtfully arranged, a beautiful setting. Delightful performance and the enthusiasm of everyone concerned made a memorable evening.”

“…the friendly atmosphere and the fact it wasn’t elitist. All were welcomed, not just the grand. A wonderful experience.”

“The atmosphere being in such beautiful grounds was amazing, but I was most impressed with the opera itself… not being an aficionado I was surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed the singing/acting! Thank you!”

Dido Katie Bray
Aeneas Jolyon Loy
Belinda Betty Makharinsky
Second Woman Angela Hicks
Sorceress James Geidt
First Witch Esther Mallett
Second Witch Sarah Anne Champion
Sailor Rory Carver
Spirit Alex Rigo McSweeney

Dancer Laura Braid
Dancer Ajani Johnson-Goffe

Harpsichord Jonathan Darbourne
Theorbo & guitar
Alex McCartney
Violin I
Kinga Ujszászi
Violin II
Naomi Burrell
Joanne Miller
Bass violin
Gavin Kibble

Music Director Jonathan Darbourne
Director Thomas Guthrie
Choreographer Ukweli Roach
Designer Ruth Paton
Sound Designer Dan Samsa
Videographer Ben Tomlin
Producer Daniel Makharinsky