Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 4, 2019 and Island Ad-Vantages, July 4, 2019 and The Weekly Packet, July 4, 2019
Blue Hill Bach announces 2019 festival
Blue Hill Bach will begin its ninth season with its annual summer festival of Baroque music on Thursday, July 25, at 5 p.m. with a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The Blue Hill Bach period instrument orchestra, with violin soloists Lisa Rautenberg, Jude Ziliak, Anatole Wieck, and 2019 Young Artist Fellow YuEun Kim will be joined by Noel Paul Stookey, who will read English translations of the sonnets that Vivaldi published with the music. Projections of Brooklin photographer Dick Leighton’s images of Downeast spring, summer, fall and winter will accompany the music.
The performance will take place at David’s Folly Farm in Brooksville, transformed into the Baroque Café, with food and beverages provided by local chefs.
On Saturday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. at Blue Hill’s First Congregational Church, Blue Hill Bach will present Intimate Strangers: Vivaldi & Bach. The concert will open with Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins, which so impressed Bach that he arranged it as a concerto for four harpsichords. Bach’s “Wedding Cantata” BWV 202, Weichet nur betrübte Schatten, will be sung by Portland soprano Jennifer Bates. The program will end with Bach’s Mass in G Major, BWV 236, featuring soprano Abigail Lennox, alto Catharine Cloutier, tenor Dann Coakwell, and Jacob Cooper, bass.
For the festival finale on Sunday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Blue Hill’s First Congregational Church, Blue Hill Bach will present Bach’s stirring St. John Passion, with the Blue Hill Bach orchestra and chorus under the direction of John Finney. Soloists will be tenor Dann Coakwell as the Evangelist, bass Jacob Cooper as Jesus, bass John David Adams as Pilate, sopranos Abigail Lennox and Nacole Palmer, altos Catherine Cloutier and Bradley Sharpe, tenors Eric Christopher Perry and Zachary Fisher, and bass Andrew Cloutier.
On Monday, July 29, Blue Hill Bach will travel south to St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cape Elizabeth for a special extra performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Proceeds from the concert will support a commitment to those in need in Maine and Haiti. The 7 p.m. concert will be followed by a reception.
Free events for the general public during Blue Hill Bach’s festival week will include “Bach’s Lunch,” a lecture-demonstration about the music in this year’s festival presented by conductor John Finney and members of the ensemble on Friday, July 26, at 12 noon. Blue Hill Bach joins forces with Bagaduce Music to present this free event. The public is invited to bring a bag (or box!) lunch to Bagaduce Music’s performance hall at 49 South Street, Blue Hill.
Other events include a master class in Baroque performance practice for string players on Monday, July 22; a lecture on the art and architecture of Vivaldi’s Venice by art historian Sheila ffiolliott, presented in collaboration with the Blue Hill Public Library at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23; and a lecture-demonstration about Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons by violinist and scholar Jude Ziliak at the Brooksville Free Public Library on Wednesday, July 24 at 1 p.m.
For tickets and information, visit bluehillbach.org or call 613-5454.