Dido's debut is moulded from Sarah McLachlan's intimate soul, Sinead O'Connor's Celtic yelp, and Beth Orton's morose resolve–with all the sharp edges rounded out. This is an auspicious and highly listenable album – atmospheric, seductive, and beautifully produced and sequenced. As of 2014, the album has sold more than 22 million copies worldwide, and was the second best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK, behind James Blunt's Back to Bedlam.
The bold Tira works as dancing beauty and lion tamer at a fair. Out of an urgent need of money, she agrees to a risky new number: she'll put her head into a lion's muzzle! With this attraction the circus makes it to New York and Tira can persue her dearest occupation: flirting with rich men and accepting expensive presents. Among the guys she searches the love of her life, from whom she only knows from a fortune-teller that he'll be rich and have black hair. When she finally meets him, she becomes a victim of intrigue.
Purcell's Dido and Aeneas is one of the very few 17th-century works to have entered the operatic "canon" and developed a modern performance tradition before the late 20th century's early-music revival. For listeners who had grown fond of this opera in its "traditional" form, the period-instrument recordings of recent years have provided some odd surprises: an all-female cast (excepting Aeneas); a baritone Sorceress; singing in a style closer to a Restoration playhouse than Covent Garden.