Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 6, 2017 and Island Ad-Vantages, July 6, 2017 and The Weekly Packet, July 6, 2017
Bach music festival to feature music, dance
Blue Hill Bach will begin its seventh season with its annual summer music festival, opening on Thursday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m. with “1723: Herr Bach Comes to Town” at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Blue Hill. The concert will feature works from Bach’s first year in Leipzig—the Prelude and Fugue BWV 547 and Cantata 40, Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes—as well as music by Georg Philipp Telemann and Christoph Graupner, who were offered but turned down the cantor position at Leipzig’s Thomaskirche that Bach assumed.
On Wednesday, July 19, at 6 p.m. at Atlantic Boat Company in Brooklin, the public is invited to a demonstration of Baroque dance led by choreographer Carlos Fittante. Participants in this free event will learn easy and elegant steps and gestures that will take them back to the European courts of the 18th century. After the workshop, participants are welcome to attend a rehearsal of Handel’s opera-ballet, Terpsicore.
On Friday, July 21, at 12:30 p.m, the Blue Hill Public Library will host “Bach’s Lunch,” a lecture-demonstration about the music and dance in this year’s festival presented by conductor John Finney and members of the ensemble. The public is invited to bring a bag (or box) lunch to the library’s Howard Room for this free event.
On Friday at 5 p.m., the Baroque Café goes to Atlantic Boat Company’s sail loft on Flye Point in Brooklin, for a production of Terpsicore. Baroque dance specialists Carlos Fittante and Alexis Silver will lead local dancers in charming court dances in original choreography by Fittante. Before the performance, the audience will be invited to learn the minuet and other steps. Soloists will be soprano Abigail Lennox as Erato, and the 2017 Marville Young Artist Fellow, Catharine Cloutier, as Apollo.
The all-Bach festival finale on Saturday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Blue Hill’s First Congregational Church will include the Brandenburg Concerto #3, the motet Fürchte dich nicht, the Concerto for Three Violins BWV 1064a, and the Mass in F major BWV 233. The Blue Hill Bach orchestra and chorus will be joined by soloists Lennox and Nola Richardson, soprano; Marcia Gronewold Sly and Catharine Cloutier, alto; Jonas Budris and Francis John Vogt, tenor; and John David Adams and Jacob Cooper, bass.
Blue Hill Bach was founded in 2011 with the mission of presenting historically informed performances, recordings and educational programs that explore vocal and instrumental music of the Baroque and other repertoire that demonstrates the place of Baroque music within the span of music history, according to a press release. Under the direction of Stephen Hammer, artistic director, Blue Hill Bach draws upon musicians from Maine and across the U.S. who are specialists in Baroque performance practice. The Blue Hill Bach chorus includes professional singers, members of the community, and students from area high schools and colleges.
For tickets and information, visit bluehillbach.org or 613-5454