If we took a moment to flash back to January 2005, you would have found me at home during a college winter break, practicing the piano roughly 4 hours a day.
You see, within a month's time, my senior piano recital was scheduled at Hillsdale, and I needed to prepare myself for the hour long performance. The first 45 minutes would feature memorized works of Bach, Barber, Haydn, and Chopin. The last 15 minutes would be the official world premiere of my latest compositions, The Dido Series (text taken from Vergil's Aeneid). I would perform the piano / voice duet with my dear friend, soprano Hannah Dixon (now McConnell).
The Dido Series would be performed again, a month later, at St. Olaf College, the host of the 2005 national classical studies convention. The audience would include fellow classicists, student and professors alike. It was an awesome event, and it was a weekend that made Hannah and I not only music friends, but friends for life.
Given the time crunch of composing Dido, practicing, rehearsing, and performing it twice, I was unable to finish the second part of the piano / voice series. From my beginnings of writing Dido back in 2004, the goal was always to compose the words of Aeneas, who ultimately became the destructive love interest in Dido's life, and have it performed with a baritone / tenor alongside the Dido songs. The dream was to have the characters Dido and Aeneas looking at each other while singing, a mini-opera, if you will.
Unfortunately, that did not happen in 2005. So then the goal became to have Aeneas composed and performed my senior year of college as a fun hurrah into graduation, but alas that didn't happen either.
So Aeneas took a back seat to life over the past decade, with a few moments of composition here and there, but nothing quite definitive. But when I heard that the national classics convention would be returning to St. Olaf College again in March 2019, that was the impetus over the past 18 months to get me to settle into reading the Aeneid once more and to work on composing the final songs.
Today, it looks like the Muses may indeed be smiling upon us. I'm currently in communication with the convention committee, as well as the singers, and the hope is come March, we will have a throwback weekend of a Dido performance, with the added bonus of Aeneas. Lots of logistics to complete, but I'm hoping we can get this done.
In short, Aeneas and I have some unfinished business together, and I plan to complete it!