Classical music and opera lovers in Vancouver have an exciting event to look forward to this summer. Early Music Vancouver (EMV) just dropped the dates for this year’s summer festival, and the lineup looks incredible. So get ready to brush up on your early music history and learn about some of the most fascinating, revolutionary artists of their time.

Previously known as the Vancouver Bach Festival, the 2023 Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival is not only taking on a new name, but introducing a new theme: WOMENinSIGHT – which celebrates women composers, librettists, and performers of the past and present.

Every year, Early Music Vancouver’s concerts bring some of the most renowned artists in the early music genre to the stage, from all around the globe. This year’s focus will shift to female artists who made and continue to make waves in the industry and beyond.

Inspiration & background

Inspired by the work of 12th-century writer Christine de Pizan, who questioned the centuries-old treatment of women, WOMENinSIGHT will explore the impact and role of women throughout history, through 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.”

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EMV summer festival vancouver
Photo via EMV Summer Festival

2023 lineup

This year’s festival will bring together over 60 artists from around the globe, including one special event and 11 concerts.

From the world premiere of The Queen of Carthage to a performance by the 2023 Festival Artist-in-Residence, Catalina Vicens, here are all of the events you can check out this summer:

  • July 27th at 6 pm: Special Event – Rondeau in Carthage at Nuba Gastown and SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
  • July 27th at 8 pm: Opening Concert – World Premiere of The Queen of Carthage at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
  • July 28th at 7:30 pm: Il Ponte di Leonardo at Christ Church Cathedral
  • July 29th at 2 pm: The Well-Tempered Organ at the West Vancouver United Church
  • July 30th at 3 pm: Songs Without Words: Women in Music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance at Pyatt Hall
  • August 1st at 7:30 pm: Our City of Ladies at Christ Church Cathedral
  • August 2nd at 1 pm: The Bach Parodies at Christ Church Cathedral
  • August 2nd at 7:30 pm: The Ladies Vespers at Christ Church Cathedral
  • August 3rd at 1 pm: Atempor/elle: In Search of Inner Coherence at The Orpheum Annex
  • August 3rd at 7:30 pm: Milton in Love: The Birth of Opera in the Eternal City at Pyatt Hall
  • August 4th at 7:30 pm: Party Like It’s 1694! Celebrating Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre at St. James Community Square
  • August 5th at 7:30 pm: A Woman’s Voice in Bach’s World: Christiane Mariane von Ziegler at Christ Church Cathedral

Tickets & info

The festival will take place from July 27 to August 5th at various venues, as listed above. Those interested can snag early bird tickets between April 3rd to May 14th online and by phone (604-732-1610, Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4:30 pm).

Mark your calendars & we’ll see you there!

Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival: Women In Sight

When: July 27th to August 5th
Where: Multiple venues
Cost: $19 to $68 for Early Bird tickets