Music Passion — Duets

Sarah Potter Writes

My music passion for July is Two Daughters of this Aged Stream: a duet from Act IV of the opera King Arthur written by the English baroque composer Henry Purcell in 1691. The libretto for this opera is based on a poem written by Sir John Dryden in celebration of King Charles II’s reign. The words of the duet are quite saucy, as the two sopranos — Michèle Laporte and Marie-Cécile Charrier — are playing the part of sirens.

Two daughters of this aged stream are we,
And both our sea-green locks have comb’d for ye.
Come, come, bathe with us an hour or two;
Come, come, naked in for we are so,
What danger from a naked foe?
Come, come, bathe with us and share
What pleasures in the floods appear.
We’ll beat the waters till they bound
And circle round.


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