Blue Hill Bach Festival to open with “Dido and Aeneas”

BLUE HILL — Henry Purcell’s opera, “Dido and Aeneas,” will kick off the eighth Blue Hill Bach Festival at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, at David’s Folly Farm in Brooksville.

Catharine Cloutier is Dido while Jacob Cooper plays Aeneas in the Baroque opera being staged inside the barn. The rustic interior will be transformed into a Baroque Café, where local vendors will peddle food and drink.

Carlos Fittante will direct the semi-staged production, and choreography. Other singers and dancers will include Ellenore Tarr as the Second Woman, 2018 Marville Young Artist Fellow Zachary Fisher as the Sailor, Andrew Cloutier as the Sorceress and Kayla Gayton as the Spirit. Other soloists include Abigail Lennox as Belinda, Jennifer Bates as the First Witch, and Gail MacGowan as the Second Witch.

Baroque opera specialist Grant Herreid will direct the Blue Hill Bach period instrument orchestra, chorus, and soloists.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, July 27, Blue Hill Bach will travel to Husson University’s Gracie Theatre in Bangor for a performance of J.S. Bach’s monumental Mass in B minor. The first half, the Missa, will be performed by a quintet of vocal soloists. The full Blue Hill Bach ensemble will perform the work’s second half under the direction of John Finney. Soloists will include Nola Richardson and Abigail Lennox, soprano; Marcia Gronewold Sly, mezzo soprano; Jay Carter and Catharine Cloutier, alto; Dann Coakwell, tenor; John David Adams and Jacob Cooper, bass.

At noon on Saturday, July 28, Blue Hill Bach will join forces with the Bagaduce Music Lending Library to present “Bach’s Lunch,” a lecture-demonstration about the music and dance in this year’s festival, presented by conductor Finney and ensemble members.  The public is invited to bring a bag (or box) lunch to the library’s performance hall at 49 South St. in Blue Hill. The event is free.

At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, an all-Bach concert at Blue Hill’s First Congregational Church will begin with the March from the cantata BWV 207a and the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, followed by the first half of Bach’s Mass in B minor, the Missa.  Soloists will be harpsichordist John Finney, soprano Nola Richardson, mezzo-soprano Marcia Gronewold Sly, alto Jay Carter, tenor Dann Coakwell, and bass John David Adams.

At 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 29, the all-Bach festival finale at the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill will feature the Sinfonia from Cantata 29 and the second half of Bach’s Mass in B minor.  The orchestra and chorus will be joined by soloists Abraham Ross, organ; Abigail Lennox, soprano; Jay Carter and Catharine Cloutier alto; Dann Coakwell, tenor; and Jacob Cooper, bass-baritone.

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.  Under the direction of Stephen Hammer, Artistic Director, Blue Hill Bach draws upon musicians from Maine, greater New England, and across the U.S. who are specialists in Baroque performance practice.

Festival passes cost $80 per person while tickets cost $30 per person and $10 per student for individual concerts Admission is free for youth under 18. To reserve seats, call (207)-613-5454 or visit

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