BLUE HILL — Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” will launch Blue Hill Bach’s Summer Baroque Music Festival, in its ninth season, at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, in the barn at David’s Folly Farm in Brooksville.
In the barn, transformed into the Baroque Café, Blue Hill Bach’s period instrument orchestra and violin soloists Lisa Rautenberg, Jude Ziliak, Anatole Wieck, and 2019 Young Artist Fellow YuEun Kim will be joined by Noel Paul Stookey. Stookey 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.
During the performance, food and drinks will be provided by local chefs and restaurants.
At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, Blue Hill Bach will present “Intimate Strangers: Vivaldi & Bach.” Held in Blue Hill’s First Congregational Church, 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 at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 28, Bach’s stirring “St. John Passion,” with the Blue Hill Bach orchestra and chorus under the direction of John Finney will be performed at First Congregational Church of Blue Hill. 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 the popular “Bach’s Lunch,” a lecture-demonstration about the music in this year’s festival presented by conductor John Finney and the ensemble’s members at noon on Friday, July 26. Blue Hill Bach will join 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 St. in 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 at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, at the Blue Hill Public Library.
At 1 p.m. on July 23, violinist and scholar Jude Ziliak will give a lecture-demo about Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” at the Brooksville Free Public Library.
For tickets and more info, call 613-5454 and visit bluehillbach.org.