Launch of the 2015 Season

A “Very Baroque” program to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the oldest Baroque Music Festival in Canada 

Lamèque, N. B., Monday, April 13, 2015: With 4 concerts in 3 days, nearly 30 artists and the presentation of almost 10 related activities, the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival hopes to celebrate its 40th anniversary in style this summer. Recorder player Vincent Lauzer, artistic director of the Festival, unveiled the details of the 2015 program this morning. 

A “Very Baroque” program for this anniversary season

Baroque music has been featured in Lamèque for 40 years.  This summer, the organizers will present a season entirely in the Baroque spirit in which one of the greatest works of this repertoire will be presented for the first time at the Festival. 

The opening concert on Thursday, July 23rd will be the presentation of the Mathieu Duguay Early Music Competition. Three young finalists will have the chance to showcase their talent accompanied by the Mission Saint-Charles Orchestra, conducted by the renowned harpsichordist and long-time friend of the Festival, Luc Beauséjour. This evening, that promises to be colourful and filled with emotion, will end with the award of three prizes by a jury of international caliber while the public will have the chance to vote for their favourite finalist. “I invite everyone to attend the opening of our 40th Festival” said Lauzer. 

The concert on Friday, July 24th will feature the harpsichord, the king of baroque instruments.  Entitled "Harpsichord Duel", this concert is intended as a reconstruction of a friendly keyboard duel which took place in Rome, in 1708, between Georg Friedrich Handel and Domenico Scarlatti when they were both 23 years old. At the time, the two musicians were declared equal at the harpsichord. "I had the idea to recreate this duel in Lamèque, although we have no evidence of what works have been performed at the time," said Lauzer. To recreate the passion of the keyboard players that took part in this historic event, the Festival invited two young harpsichordists of the new generation. Mark Edwards, a Canadian harpsichordist from Toronto and now living in the Netherlands, will play the role of Scarlatti, while French harpsichordist Jean-Christophe Dijoux will play the role of Handel for his first performance in Canada.

 The Festival will present two concerts on Saturday, July 25, 2015. In the afternoon, Vincent Lauzer will play alongside harpsichordist Luc Beauséjour and violinists Hélène Plouffe and Émilie Brûlé. "This is a concert that is close to my heart," he said. "In the Baroque era, the concerts were very different from the events unfolding now. There were fewer conventions and protocol.”  Entitled "This is not a concert!", the public is invited to a down-to-earth performance, an event full of surprises and an occasion to discover unexpected aspects of baroque music and period instruments. On the program: classics of the baroque era but also a little romantic and folk music in a relaxed atmosphere.

Saturday evening, July 25th, will be the grand finale of the 40th anniversary and for the first time at the Festival, Handel’s Messiah will be presented.  Under the direction of renowned conductor Ivars Taurins, Handel’s most famous oratorio will be performed by the Mission Saint-Charles Choir and Orchestra and high-calibre soloists such as Acadian soprano Suzie Leblanc, Toronto countertenor Daniel Cabena, Quebec tenor Philippe Gagné, and New Brunswick-born baritone Dion Mazerolle. Over 30 artists will be on stage to present this musical masterpiece dedicated to the life of Christ. "The presentation of this work is also a great way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mission Saint-Charles Choir, the festival’s own choir," said Lauzer. 

Additionally, the chairman of the Festival Board of Directors, Jean-René Noël, said that nearly 10 related activities will be organized during the week of the Festival.  "The details will be announced later on our website and we are planning surprises for the public," said the chairman.  The activities include: a souvenir exhibition, a conference on the Messiah, a showing of a documentary about the Festival, mini-concerts presented in various locations in the community, and a public dress rehearsal of the Messiah. "This is a great celebration of music and we invite the public to Lamèque this summer," said Noël. 

The Festival is under the honorary presidency of Mrs. Aldéa Landry, well-known lawyer and business woman in Atlantic Canada.

The 40th season of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival will be presented from July 23 – 25, 2015.  Details of the program are available on the Website and tickets are now on sale.