Countertenors Nicholas Burns and Shane Hanson are joined by Harpsichordist Christophe Gautheir in this new satirical opera featuring songs of Henry Purcell.  The musicians have arranged the songs in dialogue with each other such that they follow the story of fictional rivals.  Rivals (played by countertenors Shane Hanson and Nicholas Burns) are college dorm-mates who are both attempting to woo the same girl, a classmate from their university.  The songs serve as ‘arias’ on the unfolding drama. Christophe Gauthier will narrate this evening of debauchery, longing, loss, and of course, love.

This programme capitalizes on the dramatic nature of song in Purcell’s era, but in an updated, contemporary context.  Today, Purcell’s music suffers from a ‘crisis of context’.  Frequently humourful, often ridiculous, many of Purcell’s songs are from larger lost works of theatre. The programme will provide a modern, and often quite silly, context for these songs to be ‘re-admired’.  The programme will feature both well-known and lesser known works (like one of Purcell’s humorous rounds), including repertoire that was never intended for a countertenor to sing, such as Dido’s Lament.

Saturday, June 22, 7:00 pm
All Saints by-the-Sea Anglican Church
110 Park Drive, Salt Spring Island

The players:
Nicholas Burns, countertenor
Shane Hanson, countertenor
Christophe Gautier, harpsichord


All songs by Henry Purcell

  • Hark! How the Songsters duet 
  • Here the Deities Approve
  • I’ll Sail Upon the Dog Star
  • In Vain the Amerous Flute duet
  • Sing, Sing ye Druids duet 
  • Strike the Viol
  • When I’m Laid in Earth transposed for countertenor
  • ‘Tis Women Make Us Love round
  • Harpsichord solo TBD
  • Music for a While
  • Man is for the Woman Made arranged for two countertenors
  • Sweeter than Roses

Note:  to purchase tickets, click on the black button above which will take you to the TIX website.  Once on the TIX website, click the green button to select your tickets –  prior to checking out you will need to set up a TIX account prior to checking out.  This can be done by clicking on the person icon in the top right next to the shopping cart.  If you don’t wish to purchase tickets online, just send us a note at  – we will gladly reserve seats for you and you can pay by cash or card at the door.

Nicholas Burns, creator and countertenor

Shane Hanson, countertenor

Christophe Gautier, harpsichordist and narrator