Finding true love has always been difficult, whether in 2024, or 1694! Henry Purcell (mostly) in Love features harpsichordist and narrator Christophe Gauthier, tenor/countertenor Shane Hanson, and countertenor Nicholas Burns in a new comedic drama based on the music of Henry Purcell (1659-1695) and his contemporaries.
Much of what is now considered Purcell’s song output, were never actually songs, but rather music composed for the theatre. Sadly, most of these plays and theatrical works are either lost, very confusing, or just not very good!  Henry Purcell (mostly) in Love aims to capitalize on this loss, taking advantage of the dramatic, and often irreverent nature of Purcell’s vocal music. Arranged into a new 21st century love story, this show follows two young men through the trials and tribulations of attempting to court a woman.

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, tenor/countertenor
Christophe Gautier, harpsichord


All songs by Henry Purcell

  • Sound the trumpet
  • Hark how the songsters
  • Here the deities approve
  • Music for a while
  • ‘Tis women make us love
  • Sweeter than roses
  • One charming night
  • Ah! How sweet it is to love
  • There’s not a swain
  • No more shall meads
  • I’ll sail upon the dogstar
  • When I am laid in earth
  • Languish and despair my heart
  • Harpsichord solo TBD
  • Strike the viol
  • Evening Hymn
  • In vain the am’rous flute
  • O sweet Sir Walter
  • They say you’re angry
  • There’s nothing as fatal as woman
  • Say love if ever thou didst find
  • Tis nature’s voice
  • Man is for the woman made

Tickets can be purchased online through TIX by clicking on the blue button below, or online through the ArtSpring box office by clicking on the red button.  Tickets are also available in person at the ArtSpring box office, or at the door the night of the performance.

Instructions for TIX website:  to purchase tickets, click on the blue 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 if you don’t already have one.  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.

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

Nicholas Burns

Shane Hanson

Christophe Gauthier