Saturday, May 25, 2024
May 25, 2024

Two-day fest to highlight baroque summer 

By Kerry Graham 

Salt Spring Baroque is excited to announce our fourth season of baroque music for Salt Spring Islanders.    

The season will begin on Friday, April 19 with Accord Baroque Ensemble.  Pat Unruh (viola da gamba) and Monica Kim (harpsichord) will perform exhilarating sonatas for viol and obbligato harpsichord, arranged by Johann Sebastian Bach from works he had written for other combinations of instruments. These sonatas reveal Bach’s use of both Italianate and French styles, and we will hear the viol singing out between the higher and lower registers of the harpsichord in intricate interplays of melodies.   

On Saturday, June 22 we present Henry Purcell (almost!) in Love – a satirical opera. This work is a new opera written by countertenors Nicholas Burns and Shane Hanson featuring songs of Henry Purcell.  The songs are arranged in dialogue with each other such that they follow the story of fictional rivals (played by Burns and Hanson), college dorm-mates both attempting to woo the same girl. The songs serve as ‘arias’ on the unfolding drama. Harpsichordist Christophe Gauthier will accompany and narrate this evening of debauchery, longing, loss, and of course, love.   

Our popular 2-day summer festival of baroque music, Summer Baroque in the Trees is back on Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28.  This year we have a special treat – a concert in the style of those performed by Andrea Gabrieli at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice in the late 1580s and 1590s.  You will hear sackbuts, cornetti, dulcians and violins in music specifically written for two instrumental choirs on two opposing platforms, taking advantage of the various effects achieved with instruments in this formation. It turns out that our Salt Spring trees are a good substitute for a large Venetian Cathedral!   

On Saturday, Nov. 2 we present Canadian contra-alto Vicki St. Pierre with our friends from Victoria Baroque, and on Wednesday, Nov. 27 we are excited to welcome, from the UK, viol consort Fretwork with internationally acclaimed countertenor Iestyn Davies as they make a stop on Salt Spring during their North American tour.   

For more information visit

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