There are a number of editions with realisations, and the opera's accessibility to amateur performers is a feature that has greatly abetted the growth of its popularity in the latter half of the twentieth century.While the Prologue's music has been lost and has not been reconstructed, several realisations of the opera include a solution to the missing ritornello at the end of the second act.Following the Chelsea performances, the opera was not staged again in Purcell's lifetime.Its next performance was in 1700 as a masque incorporated into an adapted version of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure at Thomas Betterton's theatre in London.The prologue, the end of the act 2 'Grove' scene, and several dances, were almost certainly lost when the opera was divided into parts to be performed as interludes between the acts of spoken plays in the first decade of the eighteenth century.The most famous aria of the work is "When I am laid in earth", popularly known as "Dido's Lament". "Dido's Lament" has been performed or recorded by artists far from the typical operatic school, such as Klaus Nomi (as "Death"), Ane Brun and Jeff Buckley.
Originally based on Nahum Tate's play Brutus of Alba, or The Enchanted Lovers (1678), the opera is likely, at least to some extent, to be allegorical.
As new critical editions of the score appeared, and with the revival of interest in Baroque music, the number of productions steadily increased.
After Jonathan Miller's visit to Bornholm, Denmark, Dido was performed in 2008 at the Rønne Theatre (which had been built in 1823). Amongst the new productions of the opera in 2009 (the 350th anniversary of Purcell's birth) were those staged by the De Nederlandse Opera, the Royal Opera, London, the Divertimento Baroque Opera Company, and Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, New York.
It has also been transcribed or used in many scores, including the soundtrack to the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers (renamed "Nixon's Walk").
It is played annually by a military band at the Cenotaph remembrance ceremony, which takes place on the Sunday nearest to 11 November (Armistice Day) in London's Whitehall.