"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Monday, February 9, 2015

Suzie LeBlanc will sing at The Elizabeth Bishop Festival on 8 August 2015

To mark Elizabeth Bishop’s 104th birthday, which was yesterday, the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia is making an exciting announcement. In fact, this will be the first in a series of regular announcements about The Elizabeth Bishop Festival to take place on 8 August 2015 in Great Village, Nova Scotia.

We commence with the exciting news that renowned soprano Suzie LeBlanc (http://suzieleblanc.com/site/) will present the festival’s evening concert. Suzie is the Honorary Patron of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia and recently received the Order of Canada. Her CD “I am in need of music” (http://www.musiccentre.ca/node/77772), settings of Elizabeth Bishop poems by four Canadian composers (Emily Doolittle, Christos Hatzis, Alasdair MacLean and John Plant) won an East Coast Music Award and was a finalist in the Lieutenant-Governor’s Masterworks Arts Award, both in 2014.
We are thrilled that Suzie will be presenting:

The 45th parallel north crosses Nova Scotia, New-Brunswick, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, as well as France and Italy. It crosses many other places in Asia and Europe, but we will focus on places that have a connection to the French Acadian settlers of the Cobequid region in the 17th and 18th centuries. The 45th parallel can also be connected to Elizabeth Bishop, who had a profound interest in geography, maps and places, and who lived in areas crossed by this latitude.

The performers :
Suzie LeBlanc, soprano
David Greenberg, violin
Nick Halley, percussion and keyboard
Kiya Tabassian, setar and percussion

Though not the first time Suzie has performed in Great Village, it is an honour that she will bring to “Wille Les Cadets” (as Great Village was known to the Acadians) her ancestral music, mixed with music from across the 45th Parallel.

The Acadians in Great Village
“The French were said to have prosperous settlements at Masstown, Chignoise, Debert, Great Village and Little Dyke, also a small village of six or seven families up the Folleigh River, three and one-half miles from Glenholme. These villages comprised the territory the Indians named Cobequid, “End of Flowing Water”; there were mills at Chignoise (now Belmont), one at Great Village, and another at Debert. About two hundred and fifty families were residing in Cobequid at the time of the expulsion in 1755.” (History of Great Village, Women’s Institute, 1960, page 17).

The History of Great Village also notes that the Acadian families in Cobequid were deported on 5 September 1755, part of one of the darkest chapters in the history of Nova Scotia. In 1948, in Great Village, part of an original Acadian dyke was uncovered on the share of “Farr Marsh.”

As a child, Elizabeth Bishop was told of the presence of Acadians in Great Village and read Longfellow’s famous epic poem Evangeline. Though not of the same scope or sorrow, Bishop often referred to herself as an exile, and told Alexandra Johnson that the poet carries “home” with her, as many of the Acadians did as they spread across the globe. Some returned to Acadie (Nova Scotia) and we are delighted that Suzie will return to Great Village and bring such an exceptional trio of musicians with her.

As mentioned above, this is the first of a series of posts about The EB Festival. We will be profiling many of the artists who will be participating and describing some of the many activities that will happen that day. We will be setting up a Festival Facebook page and a Twitter account. There is lots to come. Stay tuned! You will want to be "In the Village" on 8 August 2015!

No comments:

Post a Comment