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Dido and Aeneas 

When: Sept. 16-17, 8 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 18, 3 p.m. 2011
Price: $30-$76

Perennial favorite Mark Morris Dance Group opens the Zellerbach Hall season with Dido and Aeneas, Morris's 1989 choreographic reinterpretation of Henry Purcell's 1689 opera, itself an allegory on tragic love that borrows heavily from Virgil's Aeneid. Morris originated the roles of the Carthaginian queen Dido and her nemesis, the Sorceress; now retired from dancing major roles, for this revival, performed Friday through Sunday, September 16-18, at Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Way at Dana St., Berkeley), he takes up the maestro's baton to lead the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale in his conducting debut. Morris' company embodies the story in modern dance while world-renowned mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe sings the Dido/Sorceress role and baritone Philip Cutlip sings Aeneas, the Trojan hero who embarks on an ill-fated love affair with Dido while heading out to found Rome. Fri.-Sat 8 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m. $30-$110. 510-642-9988 or CalPerformances.org

— Claudia Bauer

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