Epic works amid Early Music Vancouver's Bach Festival and diverse 2017-18 season roster

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      Early Music Vancouver has unveiled a 2017-2018 season that spans epic works like Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John Passion,  and George Frederick Handel’s Messiah.

      Amid this week's announcement, it also confirmed the return of its summer Vancouver Bach Festival, which kicked off last year. Running from August 1 to 11, 2017, it features a Chan Centre for the Performing Arts concert of St. John Passion with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver Cantata Singers, eight international soloists, and one of the world's leading “Bach Evangelists”, English tenor Thomas Hobbs.

      This summer's fest, mostly centred at Christ Church Cathedral, will also include Canadian cellist Matt Haimovitz playing Bach suites with new overtures written by the likes of Philip Glass and David Sanford. Another program of English Reformation polyphony stars Austria’s  Ensemble Cinquecento, while two Baroque bright lights, American countertenor Terry Wey and Sweden’s Jenny Högströmvirtuosic, sing chamber cantatas.

      Celebrated soprano Amanda Forsythe and tenor Colin Balzer kick off a notably diverse 2017-18 season on September 29 with music by Agostino Stefani and Handel, joined by the Boston Early Music Festival Ensemble and others for Baroque Duets of Love and Passion.

      Monteverdi’s seminal operatic masterpiece Orfeo, gets its reading on October 29, boasting Stephen Stubbs leading his Pacific MusicWorks and Balzer in the title role

      Other big names over the course of the season include Angela Hewitt, Gli Angeli Genève, Karina Gauvin,  Ensemble Constantinople, Suzie LeBlanc, Charles Daniels, Diabolus in Musica, the Tallis Scholars, and Monica Huggett. The festival and season will also introduce unprecedented collaborations with local organizations such as Vancouver Opera, Friends of Chamber Music, Vancouver Chopin Society, Vancouver Cantata Singers, and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra led by conductor Alexander Weimann.

      During the holidays, EMV brings its first intimate, period-instrument interpretation of Handel’s iconic Messiah to the Vancouver Playhouse and White Rock Baptist Church while maintaining its often soldout Festive Cantatas at the Chan Centre.

      EMV will start 2018 with a duo of two-night collaborations, joining forces with Friends of Chamber Music  for a weekend of concerts exploring the legacy of the string quartet on period instruments, then, in February, teaming up with Vancouver Chopin Society to present award-winning Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak in two recitals of Chopin works. He will play half of both recitals on a modern Steinway and then the second on the historical 19th-century “straight strung” Broadwood fortepiano.

      In the spring, watch for EMV to continue its multiyear Goldberg Experience series with pianist Hewitt performing The Goldberg Variations. Soprano Gauvin also performs Baroque opera arias from 18th-century St. Petersburg in EMV’s first coproduction with Vancouver Opera.

      Find the full lineups and more information on tickets for both the fest and the regular season here.