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Festival 2022

September 23 to 28,  2022

18th Season

Festival Concerts

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Navré de ton dart

Ensemble ANIMA

Friday September 23, 2022, 7:30 p.m. 

Brunton Auditorium, Sackville NB

Also available: Home Streaming

‘Death, you have wounded with your arrow (navré de ton dart) the father of joy ….’ So begins Johannes Ockeghem’s lamentation for Burgundian composer Gilles Binchois. 
This sense of death as something that arrives to us from beyond ourselves is at least as old as the art of archery, which gives it its metaphor. We reach for the same image when we talk about love: ‘Ay me, the fatal arrow / That drives ev'n to the marrow, / Cupid from out his quiver / Hath pluck’d and pierc’d my liver’ (thus Thomas Morley).
The arrows of love and death can arrive with catastrophic power — but they also have the power to release us from the bonds of a situation that has become untenable: Love, deliver me from out of the bonds of Death, someone might pray; or, one the other hand, Death, deliver me from out of the bonds of love.

Using songs of Gilles Binchois and John Bedyngham, with their associated parody Masses — and new adaptations of poetry by Christine de Pizan — this program tells a late-medieval transition story, which is also a story of the progress of love, both sacred and profane.
It’s time for me to put in words —
as once I told you that I would —
the narrative of how I came
(when I returned to Fortune’s home)
to be transformed into a man.
My name is Christian de Pizan.…

A Watercolour ‘Cameo’ by Jon Claytor, commissioned by Ensemble ANIMA

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Hommage à l’univers de Molière et à l’humour français

à l’occasion du 400 e anniversaire de sa naissance

Les Boréades de Montréal with Dion Mazerolle, baritone

Saturday September 24, 2022, 7:30 p.m. 

Brunton Auditorium, Sackville NB

Also available: Home Streaming​

“Il faut rire avant que d’être heureux, de peur de mourir sans avoir ri.” (One should laugh before being happy, lest one die without having laughed.)


Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, 1699.


Molière and his followers cultivated all levels of humour, often wielding it as social commentary. They delighted in farce, satire, parody, sarcasm, caricature, rather indulgent mockery, and self-derision. Not without a certain moralism, they mocked fashion, manners, failings, morals, the excesses of the clergy, the vices of the nobility, and the resourcefulness of the people. And, at, all times, it was accompanied by music. 

Quill and Bow

Mélisande McNabney, harpsichord and Elinor Frey, cello

Sunday September 25, 2022, 7:30 p.m. 

Brunton Auditorium, Sackville NB

Also available: Home Streaming

The harpsichord and violoncello are old friends. Since the early Baroque period, they form the core of the continuo group, playing the bass line together and providing a continuous foundation to all ensemble music. In this recital, we are taken on a musical journey highlighting the incredible virtuosity and expressive power of these two instruments in both duo and solo playing. The harpsichord’s brilliant and harmonious sound created by the quills plucking its strings comes together with the singing tone of the cello’s bowed strings for a musical feast featuring monuments of the repertoire alongside lesser-known gems. 
The journey starts in France with Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, Jean Baur, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and François Couperin. We then travel to Germany with Johann Sebastian Bach before finishing our exploration in Italy with Giuseppe Clemente Dall’Abaco and Antonio Vivaldi. 

Monday September 26, at 4:00 p.m., in Brunton Auditorium:

Award-winning harpsichordist, Mélisande McNabney, will lead a 60-minute workshop for keyboard players on the Music Department’s new Flemish double harpsichord, introducing participant to harpsichord care, maintenance, standard playing techniques and fingerings. Open to the public, free-of-charge.

Ticket Prices per Concert:

Adults $25

Seniors (+65 years) $20

Students FREE

Streaming Options available

To Purchase Tickets Click Here


Educational Outreach Concerts

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We are pleased to welcome harpsichordist Mélisande McNabney as our featured Outreach Artist for the 2022 Festival! McNabney will present a public masterclass in Brunton Auditorium featuring students of Mount Allison University, several Outreach concerts for area schools, and a public lecture as part of the Mount Allison Music Department's Colloquium series.

Outreach Schedule:

September 26: Masterclass, Brunton Auditorium, 4:00 p.m.

September 27: School Concerts

September 28: Colloquium, Brunton Auditorium 4:00 p.m.

© 2023 Sackville Festival of Early Music created by Shawn Bostick

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