Live Performance
Juliette Deschamps
The Tragedy of Dido

Narrated by actress Judith Godrèche

US Premiere
Friday, December 6, 2019 at 7:30pm

Introduced by Professor Judith P. Hallett
Post-Performance Talk with Juliette Deschamps

Mixing captivating video projection, live jazz music, and powerful storytelling, the US premiere of 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 music inspired by North African melodies performed by pianist Paul Lay. The show will be introduced by Professor Judith P. Hallett and narrated by acclaimed French actress Judith Godrèche (L’Auberge Espagnole, The Man in the Iron Mask).

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 their experience the students gained a broader cultural understanding of their city, eventually molding the myth into their own collective narrative.

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

Duration: 60 minutes approx.
Narration: In French with English subtitles

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 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 Godrèche
    • Actress, producer and writer Judith Godrèche has established herself as a triple threat and leading lady in Hollywood while simultaneously curating a hugely successful career in Paris. Acting since the age of 14, Godrèche has appeared in almost 50 films and television series, which include Jacques Doillon’s La Fille de 15 Ans, Patrice Leconte’s RidiculeThe Man in the Iron Mask (with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jeremy Irons), and Patrick Brice’s 2014 breakout comedy, The Overnight, for which Godrèche won critical acclaim. She was nominated for a Cesar Award for Most Promising Actress in Benoit Jacquot’s La Desenchantee and for Best Supporting Actress for the hit film L’Auberge Espagnole. Godrèche has also appeared in films directed by Olivier Assayas, Patrice Leconte, Cedric Klapisch, Sophie Marceau, and Francois Ozon, who are some of France’s most renowned directors. Godrèche recently starred in Under the Eiffel Tower opposite Matt Walsh and Gary Cole, and she will soon be seen in the drama The Climb, directed by Michael Angelo Covino, and in Medical Police on Netflix. In addition to her work in the film industry, Godrèche wrote the novel Point de côté, which was published in France by Flammarion Publishers in 1994.

  • 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.