1 Dido, queen of Carthage, appears surrounded by her court
and attended by her lady-in-waiting, Belinda. Dido is unhappy
and Belinda suggests it is the presence ofthe Trojan prince,
Aeneas, which is at the root ofthe queen's sorrow. Belinda
tells Dido that the prince does indeed love her, and that
a union between the two would not only bring the queen the
happiness she deserves, but Carthage would also benefit. Aeneas
enters and proclaims his devotion to the queen, and the scene
ends with Dido's acceptance celebrated by the whole court.
2 An evil Sorceress and her companions plot the destruction
of Dido and Carthage. Meanwhile, Dido, Aeneas and followers
are engaged in a hunt.
Act 2 The hunting group pause in the grove during the hunt,
Belinda sings of the peculiar delights of the spot they have
just reached. Suddenly Dido hears distant thunder and the
party makes haste for town. Aeneas is stopped by the appearance
of the God Mercury (really a witch in disguise) who tells
him he must leave Carthage to found the new Troy on Latin
soil. Aeneas accepts the God's commands, but dreads leaving
Act 3 AII is in preparation for the Trojan fleet's departure.
The Sorceress appears, gleeful at the success of her plan,
now she wants to destroy Aeneas. Dido and Belinda come down
to the harbour, Dido fearful that Aeneas will abandon her.
Aeneas tells her that he will defy and stay with her, but
she will have nothing to do with alover who once thought of
leaving her. After Aeneas leaves, the heartbroken Dido and
attendants leave to prepare her farewell to life.