Live Performance
Juliette Deschamps
The Tragedy of Dido

US Premiere

Friday, December 6, 2019
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Featuring acclaimed actor Gale Harold
Post-performance Q&A with Juliette Deschamps

Mixing captivating video projection, live jazz music, and powerful storytelling, The Tragedy of Dido created by French videographer Juliette Deschamps paints an extraordinary portrait of Queen Dido, the legendary founder of Carthage.

Part of A Weekend Celebration of Tunisia, the sensory and aesthetic performance will feature narration and music inspired by North African melodies performed by pianist Paul Lay. The performance will be introduced by Professor Judith P. Hallett and narrated in English by acclaimed actor Gale Harold (Falling for Grace, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy).

Juliette Deschamps worked in depth with her actors, selected among young students from underprivileged neighborhoods in Tunis. Taking part in this recreation of the history of Dido, these students were introduced to the mythological underpinning of their city. Through this experience, the students gained a broader cultural understanding of their city, eventually molding the myth into their own collective narrative.

Duration: 60 minutes approx.
Narration: In English

Creative Team
Juliette Deschamps: Conception, text, realisation and live video
Paul Lay: Music (composition and improvisation), piano
La Nuit & Le Moment: Executive Producer

View an extract from a past performance here.

  • About Juliette Deschamps
    • Born in Paris, Juliette Deschamps is a French director and videographer. She is also an actress and producer. Over the past years, she has created a substantial body of work as a video artist. Her pieces have been exhibited at the Shanghai Biennale, Cité de la Musique (Paris), Centquatre (Paris), Silencio (Paris), Musée de l’Élysée (Lausanne), and screened in numerous opera houses. Deschamps has developed an innovative system that allows her to mix her films live on stage, re-fashioning them in response to her musical collaborators. She relishes these live encounters and has worked with artists from across the musical spectrum including classical, opera, folk/pop, jazz, flamenco, and electronic genres. Deschamps has also staged operas and musical performances at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Paris), Theater An Der Wien (Vienna), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), White Light Festival (New York), National Theater and Concert Hall (Taipei), Teatro Malibran (Venice), and other venues around the world. Her most recent play, Sarah Bernhardt Fan Club, which premiered in 2017, has become part of the repertoire at the Academic Theater in Perm, Russia, where it is still running. She was artist-in-residence at The Invisible Dog Art Center (Brooklyn) in 2019 as part of The Elizabeth Krief and Jacques Manardo Artist Residency Program. She currently lives in Madrid. Learn more.

  • About Gale Harold
    • Gale M. Harold III is from Atlanta, Georgia. After studying photography and printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, Harold began to study acting at the suggestion of writer and producer Susie Landau Finch, while she was working at American Zoetrope. After three years of training and theater work with Joan Scheckel, he was cast and starred for five years as Brian Kinney, the lead character in the Showtime adaptation of the British series Queer As Folk. Harold’s stage credits include Tennessee Williams’s Suddenly Last Summer, opposite Carla Gugino and Blythe Danner, directed by Mark Brokaw for the Roundabout Theatre Company, Williams’s Orpheus Descending directed by Lou Pepe at Theatre/Theater, Austin Pendelton’s Uncle Bob at the Soho Playhouse, Gillian Plowman’s Me and My Friend directed by Joan Scheckel at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, and various productions while training with A Noise Within Repertory Company. He has recurred on the Emmy and Golden Globe award–winning shows Deadwood, Grey’s Anatomy, and Desperate Housewives, and also had a recurring role on Defiance. He has made guest appearances on The Unit, Law and Order SVU, and CSI: NY. Harold’s film credits include Wake, Particles of Truth (Tribeca Film Festival), Rhinoceros Eyes (Toronto Film Festival), Fathers and Sons, The Unseen, and Falling for Grace. Along with executive producer David Bowie and producer Mia Bays, Harold was an associate producer of the film Scott Walker: 30th Century Man directed by Stephen Kijak. The film screened at the London Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, and the SXSW Film Festival.

  • About Paul Lay
    • Winner of the Django Reinhardt Prize for the Best French Jazz Musician of the Year, French-born pianist Paul Lay was named Best Young French Jazz Talent of the Year by Jazz magazine. Invited to perform at the most prestigious venues in France and abroad, Paul Lay has played both as a soloist and leader of various ensembles including the Paul Lay Trio with Dré Pallemaerts and Clemens Ven der Feen, and Alcazar Memories with Isabel Sörling (vocals) and Simon Tailleu (bass). With the 2014 album Mikado the Paul Lay Quartet won the prestigious Charles Cros Academy Prize for the Best International Jazz Album of the Year. Lay studied jazz and improvised music at the Paris Conservatory with teachers Hervé Sellin, François Théberge, Glenn Ferris, Dre Pallemearts, and Riccardo del Fra. He has won numerous prizes at competitions including soloist prize at the National Jazz Competition of La Defense, laureate of the International Piano Jazz Competition of Moscow, Martial Solal International Piano Jazz Competition, and Montreux International Piano Jazz Competition. He is a laureate of the Meyer Foundation and the Mécénat Musical Société Générale. Recent performances include the Mikado Quartet performing at the Duc des Lombards, Sunside, Jazz à la and Villette Festival in Paris, the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, the Radio France Montpellier Festival, and the festivals of Annecy, Biarritz, Cologne, Midsummer Hardelot Festival, Festival de l’Empéri, and Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse. Lay also plays with the Geraldine Laurent Quartet, Eric Le Lann Quartet, Riccardo Del Fra Quintet, Ping Machine, and Shauli Einav Quintet. He accompanied Barbara Hendricks at a performance celebrating on the International Day of Jazz, presented by UNESCO.

  • About Judith P. Hallett
    • Judith P. Hallett, Professor Emerita and Distinguished Scholar at the Department of Classics at the University of Maryland, specializes in Latin language and literature; women, sexuality and the family in ancient Greek and Roman society; and classical education and reception in the 19th and 20th century Anglophone world. Author of “Fathers and Daughters in Roman Society: Women and the Elite Family” (Princeton, 1984), Hallett has edited and contributed to several collections of essays. A longtime editor of the journal Classical World, she has recently assumed the North American editorship of EuGeStA, a Europe-based online journal of gender studies in the fields of classics and classical reception. Hallett received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Harvard University.