Purcell: Dido and Aeneas (a fire opera), The Crucible, Oakland, California, 2002
DIDO & AENEAS
Purcell: Dido and Aeneas (a fire opera), The Crucible, Oakland, California, 2002


Michael Sturtz, Producer and Set designer
Casey Wicker, Costume Designer


When first called and asked to conceive of a “fire opera” to be performed in an immense warehouse in Oakland, California I decided to consider myself lucky. Dido and Aeneas became the show – retold as the story of a girl obsessed with the creative and destructive powers of flame – an obsession that lead her on a passionate yet self-destructive journey toward self-enlightenment and immolation. Incorporating many local performance groups was also a goal of a show in which we managed to pack in a live bronze pour, glass blowing, arc welding, a revolving tree filled with lights and organ pipes, a three-tiered fire-fountain, 12 nude girls with flaming antlers, a troupe of belly-dancers, a group of circus fire performers, The American Bach soloists orchestra and chorus with soloists from the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship program. All performances at Oakland’s School of Fire Arts, The Crucible, sold out far beyond capacity.