All about Bach: Festival to feature live baroque dance and music

BLUE HILLBlue Hill Bach will celebrate its 24th season with a vibrant program, featuring live music and dance of the Baroque period, Monday-Sunday, July 11-16, at different venues.

At 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, renowned organist James David Christie will perform a recital that explores the use of dance forms in baroque keyboard compositions at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church. Christie will perform on the church’s magnificent Karl Wilhelm/Andover tracker organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach and composers who influenced or were somehow connected with him, including Louis Marchand, Bernardo Storace, Johann Pachelbel, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Johann Bernhard Bach.

At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, Blue Hill Bach will present “The French Connection,” including Jean-Philippe Rameau’s “Pièces de Clavecin en Concerts No. 3,” for harpsichord, violin and viola; Michel Pignolet de Montéclair’s “La Mort de Didon,” performed by soprano Nola Richardson and Georg Phillippe Telemann’s “Paris Quartet No. 6,” and selections from J.S. Bach’s “French Suites,” performed by harpsichordist John Finney.

At the Barncastle Inn’s new event space, at noon Thursday, July 14, Blue Hill Bach will present its annual lecture-demonstration, “Bach’s Lunch,” introducing dancer/choreographer Caroline Copeland and 2022 Young Artist Fellow Julian Donahue. They will demonstrate the elegance of French Baroque dance. Festival music director John Finney will discuss the music of the festival and lead members of the ensemble in musical accompaniment to the dance. Lunches will be available by arrangement with Barncastle Inn.

CHRISTOPHER KAYDEN PHOTO Dancer/choreographer Caroline Copeland will perform as part of Blue Hill Bach’s 2022 Summer Festival July 11-16. CHRISTOPHER KAYDEN PHOTO

Colby College art history professor Véronique Plesch will deliver a talk at 1 p.m. Friday, July 15, about the art and architecture of early Versailles: “Le Grand Siècle: Art at the Court of the Sun King” at the Blue Hill Town Hall. New Surry Theatre is making the space available for this free public event.

At 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15, Blue Hill Bach’s Baroque Café returns to Atlantic Boat Company in Brooklin for “Un Pique-nique Baroque: Music and Dance from the World of Louis XIV.” The program will include vocal and instrumental music from Jean-Baptiste Lully’s “Le Bourgeous gentilhomme,” Michel-Richard de Lalande’s “Les Fontaines de Versailles,” and divertissements from André Campra’s opera-ballet “Le Carnaval de Venise.” A dance troupe comprising members of the Blue Hill Bach ensemble, and featuring dancer/choreographer Caroline Copeland and 2022 Young Artist Fellow Julian Donahue, will delight the audience with portrayals of Bohemians, gamblers, and gondoliers. Before the concert, Copeland will offer a community dance class to teach audience members simple steps and gestures. The audience is encouraged to bring their own picnic supper. Beverages will be available for purchase.

The festival ends on Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Blue Hill’s First Congregational Church where an all-Bach concert, “Bach and the Dance” will be performed. The Blue Hill Bach chorus, orchestra, and soloists will perform the Ouverture from the Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor; “Cantata 68.” The finale concert also will feature “Hat Gott die Welt Geliebt” and “Cantata 78, Jesu, der du meine Seele.”

During Blue Hill Bach’s festival week, the public is invited to observe a violinist/violist Daniel Elyar as he teaches a free master class in baroque performance for string players at 7 p.m. Monday, July 11, at the Blue Hill Town Hall Theater. Instruction will be offered both in person and online. Players who are interested in participating should contact Dr. Anatole Wieck, who will coordinate the class, at [email protected].

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