Morningside College stages modern interpretation of “Dido and Aeneas” Feb. 23-25

February 5, 2018, in Latest News

New York City-based director Richard Gammon is staging a contemporary interpretation of the classic opera “Dido and Aeneas” that will be presented by the Morningside College Performing Arts Department Feb. 23 through 25 in Klinger-Neal Theatre on the Morningside campus.

Performances are 7 p.m. on Feb. 23 and 24 and 2 p.m. on Feb. 25. All performances are free and open to the public.

Gammon is known for his contemporary interpretations and use of modern dance and movement in both operatic and theatre repertoire. He is resetting “Dido and Aeneas,” the 17th century opera by English composer Henry Purcell, to the Upper East Side of modern-day New York City. Purcell’s opera is based on the mythological story of ill-fated lovers Dido, queen of Carthage, and Aeneas, a Trojan prince whose descendants would found the city of Rome.

Gammon also directs the studio artist program for Opera Maine in Portland and works extensively with young artist programs around the country. Recently, he directed Opera Lafayette’s American premiere of Alessandro Scarlatti’s “Erminia” at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The cast for Morningside’s production of “Dido and Aeneas” includes Jori Ellenbecker, a senior from Beaver Creek, Minn., playing the role of Dido and Blair Remmers of Sioux City, a 2015 Morningside graduate, playing the role of Aeneas. Other cast members include Melissa Brown from Dakota Dunes, S.D.; Jared Kamrath, a sophomore from South Sioux City, Neb.; Grady Klein, a junior from Cambridge, Minn.; Shaley McDermott, a senior from Anthon, Iowa; Erin Nelson from Sioux City; Katelyn Stewart, a sophomore from Crofton, Neb.; and Amber Van Regenmorter, a senior from Sioux Center, Iowa.

Featured singers include Nick Baack, a junior from Lakeside, Iowa; Katsunori Baba, a senior from Japan; Dylan Ferguson, a sophomore from Brayton, Iowa; Thomas Medbourn, a senior from Sioux City; Mackensie Rinas, a senior from Pleasanton, Neb.; Tom Shafer from Randolph, Neb.; Marie Sitz, a senior from O’Neill, Neb.; Eric Wells, a freshman from Mineola, Iowa; and Anna Zetterlund, a senior from Keokuk, Iowa.