With this year’s theme of WOMENinSIGHT, Early Music Vancouver’s Summer Festival, previously named Vancouver Bach Festival, will celebrate women composers, librettists, and performers of the past and present.
Our role is to shine a light on women’s creative thoughts and works, from the past to the present, in order to close the gaps made by history. – Suzie LeBlanc
Taking place July 27 to August 5 at venues across Vancouver, the festival is inspired by Christine de Pizan, the revolutionary writer who questioned the centuries-old treatment of women and their prescribed place and role in society, to explore the impact and the role of women throughout history via a musical lens.
“There has not been a broken link in women’s creativity in the past ten centuries and more; only periods in history when patriarchal ruling systems kept the works of women away from the light,” says Early Music Vancouver’s artistic and executive director, Suzie LeBlanc. “Our role is to shine a light on women’s creative thoughts and works, from the past to the present, in order to close the gaps made by history.”
The festival starts on July 27 with the world premiere of The Queen of Carthage. This interdisciplinary work reclaims the story of Dido, The Queen of Carthage, and her legacy as a political leader, an empire builder, and a woman of colour.
In addition to the dozen concerts and events from more than 60 artists from around the globe, Early Music Vancouver has named award-winning musician Catalina Vicens as this year’s festival artist-in-residence.
Born in Chile and currently residing in Italy, Vicens’s approach to historically-informed performance and musicological research has made her one of her generation’s most versatile and sought-after historical keyboard performers and teachers. Vicens will perform in Songs Without Words: Women in Music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance on July 30 and directs Servir Antico in Our City of Ladies on August 1.
Other highlights include The Ladies Vespers (August 2) and Party Like It’s 1694! Celebrating Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (August 4). The festival will conclude on August 5 with A Woman’s Voice in Bach’s World: Christiane Mariane von Ziegler.
Early Music Vancouver presents its Summer Festival from July 27 through August 5. Visit earlymusic.bc.ca for the complete line-up.