Dido and Aeneas


Opera  in five acts, requiring five sets, SAAB soloists, 1 male and 1 female chorus,  orchestra of full strings, 2 flutes, 2 hautboys, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bass  clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 2 tenor  trombones, bass trombone, contra bass tuba, timpani and harp.

Note  on the title: The title of this opera is given in the autograph complete vocal  score as simply Dido. It is inscribed  as the work of George William Louis Marshall‑Hall,  the composer, the libretto being the work of his brother, Algernon S. Marshall‑Hall.  This appears to be the earliest part of the archive. It is probable that this  dates from the period before the Australian appointment and possibly indicates  that the opera is part of the Marshall‑Hall  juvenilia. The title: ‘Dido and Aeneas’ is inscribed in Marshall‑Hall’s  mature hand in the piano and vocal score of Act II, but the title ‘Dido’  reappears in the piano and vocal score of section five of Act I, where the work  is referred to as a ‘dramatic cantata.’ As no other complete version of the  work is present, it would seem that at least Act I, Scene IV, and all of Act II  were later revised without the whole work undergoing reconstruction.


[Amended version of the synopsis contained in M‑H  1/3‑3.] Aeneas, [leader of the Trojan forces],  wandering in quest of the land promised to him by Jupiter, puts in at the port  of Carthage where he accepts the hospitality of its Queen, Dido. Aeneas falls  in love with Dido who secretly returns his passion. Under the influence of her  sister Anna, Dido invites Aeneas and the Trojans to a grand hunt to be given in  their honour. At the height of the chase Juno summons a great storm, forcing  Aeneas and Dido to take refuge in a cave where, after a vain attempt at refusal  Dido gives in to Aeneas’s entreaties. Time passes while the lovers remain  engrossed in one another and the Trojans become restless through enforced  inactivity. Jupiter appears to Aeneas in a dream, warning him that he must  depart at once. Aeneas orders the ships made ready and goes to take leave of  Dido. The Queen has been told by Anna of the preparations going on around the  ships and reproaches Aeneas for deserting her. He pleads that it is at the  command of the gods. The Trojans, fearing that Dido will hold them by force,  resolve to weigh anchor in the night. As they are offering up their customary  prayers Anna and Dido come in disguise to make a last effort to persuade Aeneas  to stay. They find Achates [a Trojan chieftan] who turns them back. Dido  returns to the palace where, in the courtyard, a pyre has been erected on her  orders. Her intention is to free herself from the grip of love by burning the  armour Aeneas has left behind in his haste. Anna leaves to fetch the priests.  Dido sings a passionate complaint against Aeneas, lights the pyre and mounts it  in a paroxysm of frenzy, cursing Aeneas, She stabs herself with Aeneas’s sword  and dies as the priests enter. They pray to Jupiter to send Iris to rescue her  from Hades. The fleet of the Trojans is seen in the distance sailing away.


  • M‑H 1/3‑1

    Autograph  full score of Act I, Scene IV. Green leatherette bound volume with ruled  impress edge back and front. 48cm x 37.5cm x 0.5cm. Black inked score. One  blank frontpage, one blank endpage. The first recto is inscribed ‘Dido and  Aeneas. Act I Scene IV’ and signed: ‘G.W.L. Marshall‑Hall.’  30-stave score paper without imprint or pagination. Scored for 2 flutes, 2  hautboys, 2 Clarinets in Bb, bass clarinet in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F,  2 trumpets in C, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, contra bass tuba,  kettledrum, violins, violas, cellos, double basses.

  • M‑H 1/3‑2

    Second  full score of Act I, Scene IV. Green leatherette bound volume with ruled  impress at edge back and front. Gold inscribed front cover: ‘Dido and Aeneas.  Act I. Scene IV. Full Score.’ The recto of the frontpage is signed: ‘G.W.L.  Marshall‑Hall, Melbourne  University, Victoria, Australia.’ The first recto of the score is inscribed  ‘Dido and Aeneas [Act I Scene IV]. G.W.L. Marshall‑Hall’  and is so signed at the foot of the page also, where the words ‘Melbourne  University Victoria’ are again added. 20-stave music score paper. Imprinted  ‘BREITKOPF and HÄRTEL. No.12. C.’ with the bear and shield with a legioneer’s  head and the date 1719 used as an emblem. 48 paginations.

    Scoring  indicated: flutes, hautboys, clarinets in B, bass clarinet in B, bassoons, 4  horns in F, trumpets in C, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, kettledrums, 2  harps, violins, violas, cellos and double basses. Binding and cutting of the  left edge of the page has obliterated some numbers, but the actual score is for  two of each. Compare with M‑H  1/2‑1 and M‑H  1/2‑6: 1 to 18.

  • M-H 1/3-3

    Autograph complete piano  and vocal score. Navy leatherette bound volume. Tooled and gold embossed on the  cover: ‘Music.’ 23.5cm x 29.5cm x 0.75cm. Black inked score. 200 paginations.  Predominantly red marbled endpapers. The first recto inscribed ‘Dido. Opera in  five Acts by Algernon. S. Marshall‑Hall.  Music by George W.L. Marshall‑Hall.’  The first verso is blank but the second verso is inscribed ‘Index.’ The page is  partially obscured by newspaper clippings on gardening pasted over the  handwritten entries. Pagination of the Acts is indicated together with scenes  and important entries. The second recto holds the title ‘Dido’ and a list of  characters, viz:

    • DIDO  [Queen of Carthage]—Soprano
    • ANNA  [her sister]—Mezzo Soprano
    • ACHATES  [a Trojan chief]—Tenor
    • AENEAS  [leader of the Trojans]—Baritone
    • JUNO—Mezzo  Soprano
    • Trojans.  Carthaginians, Dido’s maidens.
    • Priests,  Priestesses—Chorus

    A synopsis  follows. At p.168, the score ends at the half page and is inscribed ‘The End.  George W.L. Marshall Hall [no hyphen].’ Then follow paginations 171-200 which  are almost totally covered in newspaper clippings on gardening. These are  obscuring music in the same hand as the rest of the score, being additions and  insertions to it.

  • M‑H 1/3‑4

    Manila  folder holding a piano and vocal score of a scene from Dido and Aeneas. 14 pages (7 sheets) of unpaginated 12-stave score  paper. Scored in black ink. No imprint. 30.75cm x 24.25cm. The first recto is  inscribed ‘Scene from Dido. A Dramatic Cantata’ and is roughly signed ‘GWLMH’  run together. This scene in fact corresponds to p.25 of the vocal score and its  continuation in M-H 1/3‑3,  i.e., it is the second last section—Section five of the Index of Act One of Dido.

  • M-H 1/3‑5

    Black  leatherette bound volume with impressed design on back and front covers  containing a piano and vocal score of Act II of Dido and Aeneas, the front cover impressed ‘Music.’ The inside of  the front cover is inscribed in pencil: ‘Dido and Aeneas Act II by G.W.L. M‑H’  in Marshall‑Hall’s hand. Also: ‘Patey  and Willis. 44 gt [Great] Marlborough St, London.’ 23.5cm x 29.5cm x 0.5cm.  12-stave Acme score paper. No imprint. The pages are sewn into the cover. Black  inked. No paginations. 29 occupied sheets, i.e. 58 unmarked pages, the last  verso blank. The end page marked: ‘End of Act II’ and signed ‘G.W.L. M Hall [no  hyphen].’ Some overscoring occurs at the presumed p.15. Additions in pencil  occur at p.35 bar 3, p.38 line 2, p.41 last bar, p.42 last line, p.48 second  line.

  • M‑H 1/3‑6: 1-36

    Brown paper holder inscribed in red pencil:  ‘Dido and Aeneas. parts’ and in plain pencil: ‘Professor G.W.L. Marshall Hall  [no hyphen]’ and ‘Full Scene in Inventory [?].’ Beneath the red-pencilled title  page in plain pencil is written: ‘Act I Scene IV.’ The contents are as  indicated. Score paper for all the parts is of uniform size 34cm x 27cm and is  imprinted ‘B.C.’ on a lyre design as emblem and under it ‘No.2.’ All parts are  in black ink with the same heading: ‘Dido and Aeneas. Act I. Scene IV’,  followed by the composer’s name and the part intended. Red pencilled  alphabetical rehearsal cues present throughout. Present are: 7 first violin  parts, 8 second violin, 3 viola, 3 violoncello, 2 double bass, 1 first and  second Flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 first and second horn, 1 third  and fourth horn, 1 trumpet, 1 first and second trombone, 1 bass trombone, 1  bass tuba, 1 timpani, 1 harp.