Join the University Music Chamber Choir and Orchestra as they perform John Blow's pastoral opera 'Venus and Adonis' at the Guildhall in Poole. Admission is free but spaces are limited - reserve your seat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Venus and Adonis is a short opera by John Blow; written for a private performance at the court of King Charles II, around 1683. It is the earliest English opera for which the text and the music have both survived. It was also the inspiration for Henry Purcell's much more famous opera, Dido and Aeneas.
The plot of Venus and Adonis comes from classical mythology and is based on one of the stories in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The text was written by Anne Kingsmill, one of the maids of honour of Maria of Modena (wife of the Duke of York, who would later become King James II). Drawn on Anne Kingsmill's knowledge of court life the story is presented from a female perspective with a mainly female cast. The opera would have originally been performed by members and musicians of the Royal Court. John Blow was in fact responsible for the education of the court musicians' children, who played the Little Cupids, giving a comical parody to the spelling lesson in Act II.