See a rare baroque double-bill with period instruments: Venus & Adonis/Dido & Aeneas

The Florentine Opera will present a rare baroque double-bill with period instruments: John Blow’s Venus & Adonis and Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas

Performances on January 26 (7:30 PM), 27 (7:30PM), & 28 (2:30PM), 2018 at the Wilson Theatre at Vogel Hall, in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

MILWAUKEE, Wis.—December 6, 2017— Myths come alive in a pair of English one-act operas, Venus & Adonis and Dido & Aeneas, blending perfectly into one evening of great opera.

Audiences will hear these pieces the way 17th century audiences did. Lower-pitched tuning and gut strings give a warmth of sound that we’re excited to share with audiences. This original Florentine production will include rich sets by Florentine’s own Noele Stollmack and lavish costumes by Christianne Myers.



  • World-renowned and Grammy-nominated harpsichordist & conductor Jory Vinikour leads an authentic Baroque ensemble.
  • Metropolitan Opera star Sandra Piques Eddy (mezzo-soprano) takes the Florentine Opera stage with a cast of Florentine favorites.
  • Dani Kuepper, Choreographer and Artistic Director of Danceworks, brings fresh movement to this early operatic masterpiece.



Based on the Roman myth, John Blow’s Venus & Adonis is a passionate tale about a beautiful goddess (Venus) and a handsome hunter (Adonis). A dream that becomes a twist of fate turns this love story into one of loss.

From the story of Virgil’s Aeneid, comes Henry Purcell’s opera, Dido & Aeneas. This is a classic “boy meets girl” love story about a Trojan hero (Aeneas) who flees his homeland and falls in love with the Queen of Carthage (Dido). Their love is tested when they are torn between passion and duty.


On mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy:
“Piques Eddy has a rich, dark, and weighty voice that makes her vocal agility all the more astonishing.”

— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Sandra Piques Eddy’s sound was robust and confident”

— Paul Kosidowski,

“Her mezzo soprano was rich and warm throughout her range her technique so effortless as to seem imperceptible.”
— Opera News

On harpsichordist Jory Vinikour:
“…immaculate virtuosity, an authentic poet of the harpsichord.”
Denni Republik (Czech Republic)

“Without doubt, one of the most promising figures of the new generation of harpsichordists.”
El Nuevo Siglo (Columbia)


WHAT: John Blow’s VENUS & ADONIS and Henry Purcell’s DIDO & AENEAS
WHEN:  Friday, January 26, 2018 @ 7:30 PM | Saturday, January 27, 2018 @ 7:30 PM | Sunday, January 28, 2018 @ 2:30 PM
WHERE: Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 123 State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202

More information about the production, the artists, events and the Florentine Opera’s 2017-2018 season is available at



Acclaimed soprano Sandra Piques Eddy (her 3rd production with the company – Semele (2009) and Idemeneo (2012) returns to the Florentine stage in her role debut as Dido. She has performed in over 100 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, including Two Boys (2013), and Mercedes in Carmen (recorded on Met Live in HD).

  • Former Baumgartner Studio Artist soprano Alisa Jordheim (class of 2015) will return to the Florentine in the role of Venus/Belinda. Since finishing the program, she has sung at Paris Opera and has returned to the Florentine stage in Elmer Gantry (2015) and the world-premiere of Sister Carrie (2016).
  • Former Baumgartner Studio Artist baritone Leroy Y. Davis (class of 2017) will return to the Florentine stage in the role of Adonis/Aeneas, this is his first principal role since finishing the program.
  • Former Baumgartner Studio Artist Colleen Brooks (class of 2009) will be returning to the Florentine stage in the role of Huntsman/Sorceress. She is currently a Voice and Opera Theatre professor at UW-Milwaukee.


  • Countertenor Randall Scotting will be making his Florentine debut as Cupid/Spirit.


William Florescu Director
Jory Vinikour Conductor
Dani Kuepper Choreographer/Dancer
Christianne Myers Costume Designer
Noele Stollmack Lighting Designer


For additional artist biography information, schedule an interview, or attend a rehearsal, please contact Eric Lind, by telephone at 414/291.5700 ext 225, or via email at



Subscriptions to the Florentine Opera’s 2017-2018 season range in price from $80 to $425. Single tickets start at just $40. For more information on ordering your tickets, visit or call 414-292-5700 ext. 224.



84 years of world-class opera in Milwaukee!

Grammy Award® winning. Three times.

The Florentine Opera Company’s productions reflect the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs. As a leader in Wisconsin’s art community and the nation’s sixth-oldest opera company, the Florentine Opera seeks to establish a significant presence in the cultural, educational and civic life of the state of Wisconsin and beyond. The Florentine provides vital arts education experiences for children, nurtures new audiences, and expands cultural horizons for the next generation. The Florentine Opera is a cornerstone member organization of the United Performing Arts Fund and receives funds from Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin (with support from the National Endowment for the Arts), as well as corporations, foundations and individuals. The Florentine Opera Company is an organizational member of OPERA America.

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