The James Library Presents Blue Heron in Concert

Members of Blue Heron, image by Liz Linder

McGRATHPR.com – The James Library & Center for the Arts, Norwell’s historic community arts center and lending library, presents widely critically acclaimed vocal ensemble Blue Heron performing Songs About Hope: Esperance & Amors in the 14th Century in concert on Sunday, February 23, 3 pm, 24 West Street, Norwell. The quartet performs works by Machaut, Senleches, de Caserta and more. Songs About Hope is sponsored by The Monahan Family, Lynch Marini & Associates, Elise and Jeremy Warhaftig, The Douglas N. Perry Fund, with support by Hingham, Norwell and Scituate Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Blue Heron Vocal Ensemble, image by Liz Linder

Winners of the 2018 Gramophone Classical Music Award for Early Music, Blue Heron offers an intoxicating afternoon of songs about Hope (Esperance), the allegorical character from the world of the Romance of the Rose, who sustains a courtly lover through the thousand pains of lovesickness and teaches him to find delight instead of suffering. Blue Heron has been acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “one of the Boston music community’s indispensables” and hailed by The New York Times classical critic Alex Ross for the “expressive intensity” of its interpretations. Combining a commitment to vivid live performance with the study of original source materials and historical performance practices, Blue Heron ranges over a wide repertoire, including 15th-century English and Franco-Flemish polyphony, Spanish music between 1500 and 1600, and neglected early 16th-century English music, especially the unique repertory of the Peterhouse partbooks, copied c. 1540 for Canterbury Cathedral. The ensemble presents a subscription series in Cambridge, and has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival; in New York City at Music Before 1800, The Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum of Art), at The Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, and Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.; at many national music festivals, for a visit of the Dalai Lama at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and in the United Kingdom in Cambridge and London. Blue Heron has also served as ensemble in residence at the Center for Early Music Studies at Boston University and at Boston College.

Scott Metcalfe, director, Blue Heron, image by Liz Linder

Blue Heron’s performing artists include vocalists Martin Near, Sumner Thompson and Jason McStoots; Debra Nagy, recorders, douçaine and harp; Mark Rimple, lute, Scott Metcalfe, director, harp and fiddle.

Tickets to Songs About Hope: Esperance & Amors in the 14th Centuryare $35 general admission, $30 for seniors, $20 for students. To order tickets, or for more information, please visit jameslibrary.org or follow The James Library on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the James Library & Center for the Arts

Since 1874, The James Library has served the South Shore community as a warm gathering place. Housed in a landmark Victorian in historical Norwell Center, The James is dedicated to serving the community by providing high-quality programs, resources and materials through a concert hall, art gallery and the operation of a free lending library. As an independent, non-profit arts center they foster a mission for the creation, appreciation and enjoyment of the arts for residents of all ages on the South Shore, while preserving the historic character of their home. The James Library is located at 24 West Street, Norwell, and is open to the public Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 to 5 pm, Thursday and Friday from 12 to 5 pm and on Saturday from 10 to 2 pm. For more information, please call 781-659-7100, visit www.jameslibrary.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.