Dido and Æneas, Z. 626 - Act III, Scene 2: When I am laid in earth
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Les Talens Lyriques, Ambroisine Bré, Christophe Rousset
"When I'm laid" is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful pages of the baroque lyric repertoire. This aria is taken from Henry Purcell's (1659-1695) only opera "Dido and Æneas". Composed before 1689 on a libretto by Nahum Tate, inspired by Virgil's Aeneid, the work blends Greek mythology and British witchcraft. It reaches its peak of expressivity in this lamento preceding the final chorus of the last act, when Dido, the abandoned queen of Carthage, dies of grief and despair.