With heavenly lighting and pearls under her eyes, Roxanna Wakitzki’s video for “When I am Laid in Earth” is an enchanting and aesthetically interesting visual piece for this contemporary version of a traditional Opera song. The lament, revived from Henry Purcell’s 17th-century opera Dido and the Aeneas, is sung in Purcell’s opera by Dido, Queen of Carthage, before she stabs her self upon the departure of her beloved Aeneas, as he leaves her in Carthage to sail to Italy.
Directed by Anthon Smith and with cinematography by Brendan Flynn, Wakitzki, in the spirit of Purcell’s Dido, is beautifully expressive, reaching towards the heavens, enveloped in clouds of smoke against ethereal lighting. Draped in an intricately beaded gown by Roxanna Walitzki herself, she portrays Dido’s Queenliness and suicidal despair with grace.
Accompanying the piano, the visuals transition with the different notes, consistently revealing a different angle of Wakitzki. The piano is accompanied by swift electronic sound effects that make the song a truly unique work of modern Opera. The song, in liaison with this video, is a work of art; one of which, for those don’t usually find themselves listening to opera, might spark a newfound interest!
“When I am Laid in Earth (Dido’s Lament)”
Original Score by Henry Purcell
Arranged, Produced and Performed by Roxanna Walitzki
Directed by Anthon Smith
Cinematography by Brendan Flynn
Wardrobe by Roxanna Walitzki, Stone Crow Designs & Redd Walitzki