Dido and Aeneas

As excuses to end a relationship go, “Hey babe, I gotta go build a city that will become the hub of history’s greatest empire” is pretty good. But it still must have sucked to be Dido, queen of Carthage, when her fiancé Aeneas left her behind and went off to establish Rome.

It’s a story that’s been told many times, but rarely as elegantly as in Henry Purcell’s Baroque opera Dido and Aeneas, which will be performed tonight by the Mercury Baroque and the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater in another one of their imaginative, expansive collaborations. Mezzo-soprano Krista River and baritone Kade Smith will join the Mercury Baroque’s Artistic Director Antoine Plante and musical ensemble, along with the elegant, energetic dancers of Dominic Walsh’s troupe, to tell a tale that doesn’t really end well for the couple, but worked out really great for mankind. 8 p.m. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For tickets and information, call 832-251-0706 or visit www.dwdt.org. $21.75 to $47.
Sat., May 17, 8 p.m., 2008

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Julia Ramey