As one season closes, another one nears. This past weekend, Early Music Vancouver (EMV) closed out its 2022/2023 season with a live concert collaboration, Schubertiade with The Leonids and Chor Leoni at St Andrew’s Wesley United Church. Starting off a busy month of music, the sounds of the choir and its professional ensemble, The Leonids, rang through the beautiful surroundings for an intimate evening celebrating the works of Schubert.
Now that that EMV season has come to a close it sets its sights on its upcoming 2023 Summer Festival (formerly Bach Festival). Taking place July 27 to August 5 at various venues, the 2023 Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival, is themed WOMENinSIGHT and celebrates women composers, librettists, and performers of the past and present.
Taking inspiration from 14th century Italian-born French poet and writer, Christine de Pizan, who questioned the centuries-old treatment of women and their prescribed place and role in society, WOMENinSIGHT explores 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 EMV’s Artistic & Executive Director, Suzie LeBlanc, C.M. “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 gets underwar July 28th at 8pm with the world premiere of The Queen of Carthage, co-produced by EMV and re:Naissance Opera, at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. Featuring Charlotte Siegel (soprano), Marisa Gold (dancer|choreographer), Debi Wong and Stephanie Wong (stage directors), Catalina Vicens (music director) and EMV Festival Players, this interdisciplinary performance is a powerful reclamation of the story of Dido, The Queen of Carthage, and her legacy as a political leader, an empire builder, and a woman of colour.
EMV also welcomes award-winning musician Catalina Vicens as this year’s Festival Artist-in-Residence. Born in Chile and currently residing in Italy, Catalina Vicens is recognized by international press as “one of the most interesting musicians in the field of early music” has become one of the most versatile and sought-after historical keyboard performers and teachers of her generation. With the founding the ensemble Servir Antico in 2013, Vincens aims to shed light on the lesser-known repertoire and intellectual heritage of the Humanistic Period (13th-16th century), using the concert stage to share with audiences these past visionaries as well as amplify new voices. In 2021, Ms. Vicens was named curator of the Tagliavini Collection in Italy, one of the largest historical keyboard collections in Europe, and artistic director of Museo San Colombano in Bologna. She is also harpsichord/research lecturer at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (Belgium) and Visiting Professor of Harpsichord at Oberlin Conservatory (USA), amongst many other prestigious appointments.
Bringing together more than 60 artists, 11 concerts and one special event, including a by donation concert at St. James Community Square, the 2023 Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival takes place July 27 to August 5. Performances take place at various venues including SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Christ Church Cathedral, Pyatt Hall, The Orpheum Annex, West Vancouver United Church, and St. James Community Square. Discounted early bird tickets are on sale until May 14, with regular-prices tickets available from May 15-August 5. A digital concert program and access passes are also available, visit earlymusic.bc.ca/tickets/summer-festival-2023 for details.