Measure + Dido is a world premiere co-production of NapaShakes and the Folger Shakespeare Library coming to the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center and the Green Music Center this weekend. It brings together Sir Derek Jacobi, director and co-star Richard Clifford, and members of the Folger Consort in a blending of Shakespeare and Purcell.
The production is based on an adaptation that critic Charles Gildon made in 1700, which takes two disparate works and combines them. “He added some lines to suggest that the Duke for example, Angelo for example, Isabella were going off to listen to the opera and then come back to make a decision about a question that had been posed earlier.” Richard Clifford says the complete Dido and Aeneas will be performed, with selections from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. “It is very much a concert evening,” Clifford explains. “We have four actors, and on top of that, we have two of the opera performers also performing as actors. But it is very much a concert.” They’ve worked with the Folger Consort several times before, in adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, and The Merchant of Venice. “[Folger Consort artistic directors] Robert Eisenstein and Christopher Kendall are very interested in not only the sung word, but alos the spoken word, so it’s been a very healthy collaboration.”