Dido and Aeneas
Purcell is an Ultimate Hall of Fame One Hit Wonder. This was at its highest position — number 119 — in our first Hall of Fame chart in 2010.
The English composer John Blow produced his opera Venus and Adonis, which was partly based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, with a text by Aphra Behn, at the court of Charles II. Henry Purcell was almost certainly sitting in the audience taking it all in and he was clearly inspired by the work. He substituted Virgil for Ovid and the Aeneid for Metamorphoses. Nahum Tate, rather than Aphra Behn, wrote the text. And over the court of Charles II, he favoured the unlikely venue of Josias Priest's Boarding School for Girls, in Chelsea.
Despite its seemingly inauspicious start in life, Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas has come to be seen as the first great English opera, indeed arguably the greatest English opera of all time.
Buy your Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame Album now
Do you fancy an album packed full of four hours’ worth of guaranteed hits? Then the Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame album is right up your street!
The Movie Music Hall of Fame
Discover the nation's favourite film soundtracks in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame, featuring music by John Williams, Ennio Morricone and Hans Zimmer.
Don't miss the Classic FM Hall of Fame Hour
Join John Suchet for an hour of the very best classical music, from full-blooded Romantic concertos to delicate Classical miniatures.
Browse Halls of Fame past
Discover more about our annual chart and explore Halls of Fame past, as far back as 1996.