CIM Opera Theater’s digital 'Dido and Aeneas'

Dido's body on a bier, dressed in white, surrounded by a circle of mourners
Harry Davidson

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The Cleveland Institute of Music's innovative opera project, a digital presentation of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas directed by Harry Davidson, has been nominated for the 2023 OPERA America award.

The project, released to wide acclaim in 2022, is now a candidate in the contest’s last stage. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony on December 4, 2023, at the National Opera Center in New York City.  

Davidson, who is in his twenty-fifth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Duke Symphony Orchestra, has been Music Director and Conductor of Opera at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 2007. He conducts one opera production each semester at CIM while continuing in his roles as Music Director of the DSO and Professor of the Practice at Duke.

Davidson oversaw and conducted virtually every aspect of the soundtrack for Dido and Aeneas. Created during the COVID-19 pandemic, all performers, including a student chorus and the CIM Orchestra under Davidson, recorded their parts separately. The production was shot outdoors at the former Westinghouse Factory in Cleveland.  (Excerpted from