A harpsichord arrives at the Native Instrument Academy

In an effort to make classical music relevant, accesible, and inclusive, the INTAKE Organization is pleased to have partnered with the Connecticut Early Music Festival.

Founded in 1982, the New London-based Connecticut Early Music Society presents an annual festival of between six and nine concerts each June. The term “early music” refers to both a repertory (European music written before about 1800, including medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical music) and an approach to performance (“historically-informed performance,” including the use of period instruments). 

Among the offerings at this year’s festival is Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas. The story is based on a short passage in Vergil’s Aeneid in which Aeneas, the mythical founder of Rome, makes a stop in Carthage with his fleet and falls in love with Dido, Carthage’s queen. Purcell completed the opera — the first in the English language — in 1689, and it was first performed in a girl’s school. The Connecticut Early Music Ensemble performance employs a very small instrumental ensemble much like the one that would have been heard at the original performance.

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