Dido & Aeneas

Dido & Aeneas

An opera-film with parallel audio and visual narratives

By The Opera Theatre of Yale College, directed by Katharine Li (she/her/hers), Benjamin Franklin College, Class of 2021 (graduated December 2020)


Our production of Dido and Aeneas takes the form of an opera-film with parallel audio and visual narratives. The music follows the opera's original libretto. The visual component tells an analogous story from Chinese history, centering on the film actress Shangguan Yunzhu and her alleged affair with Mao Zedong before the country's Cultural Revolution. We hope to highlight the ways in which dramatic tropes and archetypes of the Western canon are, in fact, present all over the world, and to expand the relevance of this European story to a wider variety of cultures and peoples.

Production Team

  • Director: Katharine Li
  • Music Director: Vivian Mayers
  • Assistant Music Director: Dani Zanuttini-Frank
  • Director of Photography/Film Editor: Annelise Ratner


  • Dido: Lisl Wangermann
  • Aeneas: Owen Wheeler
  • Belinda: Sarah Grube
  • Second Woman: Jacqueline Kaskel
  • Sorceress: Emery Kerekes
  • First Witch: Catherine Alam-Nist
  • Second Witch: Abigail Yadegar
  • Soprano/Spirit: Mia Rolland-Bezem
  • Alto: Hannah Morrison
  • Tenor: Weston Kerekes
  • Bass/Sailor: Zach Lee


  • First Violin: Vivian Mayers
  • Second Violin: Epongue Ekille
  • Viola: Jacob MillerCello: Francis Fedora
  • Theorbo, Tiorbino, Baroque Guitar: Dani Zanuttini-Frank
  • Harpsichord: Max Hammond
  • Recorder: Pippa Ovenden
  • Percussion: Grant Herreid

About the artist and collaborators

Katharine Li '21 (she/her/hers) grew up splitting time between Plainsboro, NJ and Beijing, China. She was an English major in Benjamin Franklin College. She is an opera singer, director, visual artist, and writer.

Vivian Mayers '21 (she/her/hers) is a History major in Branford College. She is from Winston-Salem, NC and will study baroque violin performance at Juilliard upon graduation.

Annelise Ratner '22 (she/her/hers) is a Film and Media Studies major in Silliman College. She was born in Minnesota, but grew up mainly in Cambodia and Malaysia. She is currently based in Washington, D.C.

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