30th Anniversary Appalachian Spring Performances
William Tell Overture, Gioachino Rossini
Orchestra with members of the MSO, KSO, MCB and UPstarts (Conductor: Joel Neves)
Appalachian Spring (Ballet for Martha), Aaron Copland
Presented in the original format for 13 players
Original choreography by Maisie Zahn and members of the NMU dance company with support from Jill Grundstrom, Head of Dance, NMU
Miles Mykkanen with pianist, Lois Kaarre
Pizzetti “I pastori”
Strauss “Heimliche Aufforderung” “Traum dutch die Dämmerung” “Zueignung”
Britten “Miles... I’m all things strange and bold” from The Turn of the Screw
Merikanto “Oi muistatko vielä sen virren”
Bizet “A cette voix... Je crois entendre encore” from Les pêcheurs de perles
The Marquette City Band Ensemble (Director: Dr. Stephen Grugin)
All You Need Is Love, Lennon/McCartney, arrangement by Steve Grugin
Spain, Chick Corea
Sir Duke, Stevie Wonder
Eric Banitt, keyboards; Robert Smedman, lead vocal; chorus of UPstarts and band members
Moira Smiley and Jefferson Hamer
Pine Mountain’s 29th Season kicked off with vocalist, musician and composer Moira Smiley and songwriter, guitarist and traditional musician Jefferson Hamer teaming up to perform a mixture of solo performances and duo work pulling from both of their repertoires.
Moira and Jefferson performed at the following venues:
Iron Mountain High School in Iron Mountain, Monday, June 17th
Reynolds Hall in Marquette, Tuesday, June 18th
Calumet Theatre in Calumet, Wednesday, June 19th
Jefferson also performed a solo show at the
Crystal Theatre in Crystal Falls, Thursday, June 20th
The Bergonzi’s returned to the festival this year as a trio: Scott Flavin on Violin, Ross Harbaugh on Cello, and Lindsay Garritson on Piano. They performed Beethoven’s Trio in Bflat Major, opus 97 “Archduke” by special request, as well as Trio in B major, opus 8 by Brahms. The trio continued its special tradition of presenting free children's concerts throughout the U.P.
The Bergonzi Trio performed at the following venues:
Reynold’s Hall in Marquette, Wednesday, June 19th
Iron Mountain High School in Iron Mountain, Friday, June 21st
Rozsa Center in Houghton, Saturday, June 22nd
The ever-popular UPstarts—young gifted musicians from the Upper Peninsula along with the professional talent of Miles Massicotte, Hristina Blagoeva and Giovanni Perez, brought their fresh energy and promising talent to the festival. UPStarts this year included: Eric Banitt on piano; Benjamin Merte on bass; Kalee Hernendez on piano; Karen Albert, mezzo-soprano; and Benjamin Zindler, trombone. Special guest soprano Liz Grugin, one of 2018’s UPstarts, performed a duet with Karen. Susan Byykkonen returned as accompanist.
UPstarts performed at the following venues:
Presque Isle Bandshell Free Concert in Marquette, Friday June 28th
First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford, Saturday, June 29th
Rozsa Center in Houghton, Sunday, June 30th
Miles Massicotte, Hristina Blagoeva and Giovanni Perez
These three professional musicians from New York, pianist Miles Massicotte and flutists Hristiana Blagoeva and Giovanni Perez put on a superb show of solos, duets and trios showcasing their talent through modern and classical pieces.
This show was performed at the following venue:
Calumet Theatre in Calumet, Wednesday, June 26th
Pine Mountain’s 28th season’s pièce de résistance was Bizet’s sensuous opera, Carmen, which was the 37th opera produced by PMMF. Amanda Crider, a brilliant singer and multifaceted artist, played the role of Carmen. Tenor Isaac Hurtado (Ultimi: Three Tenors) played the role of Don José and soprano Heather Youngquist (Resident Opera Artist, Rockland The Opera) was Micaëla. Baritone Christopher Holmes (Escamillo) rounded out a rock-solid lead cast. The orchestra and chorus included professional musicians from the Upper Peninsula and surrounding areas. Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra music director, Joel Neves, conducted the opera.
Carmen was performed at the following venue:
Rozsa Center in Houghton, Thursday, June 28th & Saturday, June 30th
Bergonzi String Quartet
Nearing their 25th appearance at the festival, the world-class Bergonzi String Quartet (our Quartet-in-Residence) delivered another compelling program of masterwork classical string quartets, including Mozart and Brahms. The quartet continued its special tradition of presenting free children's concerts throughout the U.P.
The Bergonzi String Quartet performed at the following venues:
Reynold’s Hall in Marquette, Wednesday June 20th
Immaculate Conception Church in Iron Mountain on Thursday, June 21st
Rozsa Center in Houghton on Saturday June 23rd
The ever-popular UPstarts—young gifted musicians from the Upper Peninsula chosen via competitive talent contest—brought their fresh energy and promising talent to the festival.
UPstarts performed at the following venues:
Reynolds Hall in Marquette on Friday June 15th
Rozsa Center Backstage in Houghton on Saturday June 16th
FirstPresbyterian Church in Kingsford on Monday, June 18th
Art Song Recital
Justin Spenner (baritone) and Mario Perez (tenor), creators of the innovative B-Sides Art Song Collective, presented a vocal recital of the love-drenched art songs of German Romantic composer, Robert Schumann, including Dichterliebe (A Poet's Love) and Liederkreis (Round of Songs).
Art Song Recital was performed at the following venue:
Portage Lake United Church on Tuesday, June 19th
Alma Flamenca, A Taste of Carmen
In a continuing effort to diversify our programming, the Festival introduced award-winning French dancer, Karyne Arys, as our featured Flamenco artist, joined by Paul Buttin (guitar) and Kahlil Sabbagh (cajon). She was also cast as the gypsy dancer in Carmen. Our Flamenco troupe joined the lead cast of Carmen (Amanda, Isaac, Christopher, Heather) in "A Taste of Carmen": a series of concerts in Iron Mountain and Marquette that featured the very best highlights from the opera, including arias, duets, and dances. Karyne also presented a special dance masterclass in Marquette at the Queen City Arts Co-op on June 22.
Alma Flamenca was performed at the following venues:
Crystal Theatre in Crystal Falls on Saturday, June 23rd
Calumet Theatre in Calumet on Sunday, June 24th
A Taste of Carmen was performed at the following venues:
Iron Mountain High School on Wednesday, June 20th
Reynolds Hall in Marquette on Friday, June 22nd
The Beethoven Project (Bergonzi String Quartet)
A collaborative multi-genre play for two actors (Julie Tabash Kelsheimer and Mark Wilcox) and the Bergonzi String Quartet (Scott Flavin, Ross Harbaugh, Chauncey Patterson, Evija Ozolins) about the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, including excerpts from Beethoven’s string quartets.
The Beethoven Project was performed at the following venues:
Wednesday, June 21 (Forest Roberts Theatre – Marquette, MI)
Friday, June 23 (Iron Mountain High School Auditorium – Iron Mountain, MI)
Saturday, June 24 (Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts – Houghton, MI)
The Bergonzi String Quartet (quartet only) also presented free children’s concerts at the following venues:
Wednesday, June 21 (Peter White Public Library – Marquette, MI)
Friday, June 23 (Dickinson County Library – Iron Mountain, MI)
Saturday, June 24 (Portage Lake Library – Houghton, MI)
Lake Effect Quintet
With an unusual instrumentation of guitar, tuba/trombone, fiddle, bass, and drums, this quintet (Mike Irish, Mike Christianson, Dan Komarzec, Glenn Basham, Tom Christianson) performed classics from the jazz, Latin, funk, swing, rock, and folk genres.
The Lake Effect Quintet performed at the following venue:
Friday, June 30 (Orpheum Theatre – Hancock, MI)
The Lake Effect Quintet also presented free children’s concerts at the following venues:
Thursday, June 29 (Dickinson County Library – Iron Mountain, MI)
Saturday, July 1 (Peter White Public Library – Marquette, MI)
Three award-winning opera singers (Julie Tabash Kelsheimer, Kelsey Park, Bille Bruley) joined pianist, Susie Byykonen, in a “Night at the Opera” with excerpts by Rossini, Puccini, Handel, Bizet, and Donizetti.
Opera Scenes was performed at the following venues:
Friday, June 16 (Reynolds Hall – Marquette, MI)
Saturday, June 17 (Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts – Houghton, MI)
Sunday, June 18 (Iron Mountain – Iron Mountain, MI)
Nationally renowned guitarist singer-songwriter Joshua Davis—finalist on NBC’s The Voice—brought his Joshua Davis Trio to the festival to perform original folk, soul, blues, funk, and rock-n-roll music.
Joshua Davis performed at the following venues:
Thursday, June 22 (Braumart Theatre – Iron Mountain, MI)
Friday, June 23 (Orpheum Theatre – Hancock, MI)
Saturday, June 24 (The Ore Dock – Marquette, MI) *two performances
Young Yooper musicians Maggie Wang (soprano & piano), Ricky Vermeulen (viola), PJ Uhazie (baritone), and Catherine Nevala (flute) joined pianist, Susie Byykkonen, in a recital of classical and opera music.
UPstarts performed at the following venues:
Wednesday, June 28 (Reynolds Hall – Marquette, MI)
Friday, June 30 (Immaculate Conception Church – Iron Mountain, MI)
Saturday, July 1 (Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts – Houghton, MI)
Lake Effect Jazz Quintet
Jazz makes its sizzling return to the Pine Mountain Music Festival this summer, as fiddler Glenn Basham (of the Bergonzi String Quartet) joins local legends, Mike Irish and Mike Christianson, in a celebration of jazz from the 1930s to today. Completing the quintet are world-class jazz artists Karyn Quinn and Klaus Suonsaari.
The Lake Effect Jazz Quintet performed at the following venues:
Friday, June 17 (Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts – Houghton, MI)
Saturday, June 18 (Braumart Theatre – Iron Mountain, MI)
Sunday, June 19 (Reynolds Hall – Marquette, MI)
Ultimi: Three Tenors
This trio of charming operatic tenors from Utah makes its debut with the festival this summer. With over 100 roles to its credit, Ultimi combines the vocal and instrumental talents of three professional opera singers: Isaac Hurtado, Nathan Northrup, and Brian Stucki. Recalling the nostalgia of the “original” three tenors (Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras), Ultimi presents riveting performances of operatic arias, duets, and trios.
Ultimi: Three Tenors performed at the following venues:
Friday, June 17 (Reynolds Hall – Marquette, MI)
Saturday, June 18 (Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts – Houghton, MI)
Sunday, June 19 (Braumart Theatre – Iron Mountain, MI)
Bergonzi String Quartet
The Pine Mountain Music Festival’s newly minted “Permanent Quartet-in-Residence” returns for its record-breaking 22nd year. As the festival’s longest tenured musical act, Glenn Basham, Scott Flavin, Pamela McConnell, and Ross Harbaugh continue to thrill audiences with their nuanced, virtuosic, and supremely expressive artistry.
The Bergonzi String Quartet performed at the following venues:
Wednesday, June 22 (Reynolds Hall – Marquette, MI)
Friday, June 24 (Braumart Theatre – Iron Mountain, MI)
Saturday, June 25 (Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts – Houghton, MI)
The Bergonzi String Quartet also presented free children’s concerts at the following venues:
Wednesday, June 22 (Peter White Public Library – Marquette, MI)
Friday, June 24 (Dickinson County Library – Iron Mountain, MI)
Saturday, June 25 (Portage Lake Library – Houghton, MI)
With 13 original albums to her credit, Patty redefines the boundaries of folk-urban pop music with her inventive guitar wizardry and uncompromising vocals and lyrics. Rolling Stone praises her “evocative and sonic shading,” while the Boston Globe calls her “an uncommonly articulate guitarist.” She has also been described as “riveting” (Chicago Tribune) and “hypnotic” (Entertainment Weekly). The city of Boston even celebrates Patty Larkin Appreciation Day each year.
Patty Larkin performed at the following venues:
Friday, June 24 (Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts – Houghton, MI)
Saturday, June 25 (Reynolds Hall – Marquette, MI)
Sunday, June 26 (Braumart Theatre – Iron Mountain, MI)
Now in its fifth season with the festival, the inspiring UPstarts! concert series features incredibly talented emerging young musicians native to the Upper Peninsula. This summer’s UPstarts! include bassist Jeanette Adams (Marquette), violinist Sonja Prychitko (Marquette), soprano Leah Hungerford (Hancock), and soprano/guitarist Courtney Clisch (Alston). Accompanying the group is local superstar pianist, Susie Byykkonen.
The UPstarts performed at the following venues:
Monday, June 20 (Braumart Theatre – Iron Mountain, MI)
Tuesday, June 21 (Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts – Houghton, MI)
Thursday, June 23 (Reynolds Hall – Marquette, MI)
Michigan native Benjamin LaPrairie performs original organ works and great masterpieces by Bach, Franck, and Vierne. Associate Director of Music at the largest Catholic Church in the western hemisphere, Ben performs throughout the Upper Peninsula, playing the area’s magnificent historic pipe organs.
June 27 - First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Iron Mountain
June 29 - St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Marquette
July 1 - St. Joseph Catholic Church, Lake Linden
Opera returns to the PMMF stage for the 25th Season with Rossini’s The Barber of Seville! Festival favorite and U.P. native, tenor Miles Mykkanen, performs the role of Count Almaviva, and is joined by mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams as Rosina, baritone Philip Kraus as Dr. Bartolo, baritone Levi Hernandez as Figaro, and bass Bradley Smoak as Basilio. The production is conducted by PMMF Artistic Director Donald Schleicher and is directed by Debra Dickinson.
July 9 - Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Houghton
July 12 (3PM) - Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Houghton
Ralph Votapek, the first Van Cliburn International Competition gold medalist, is a familiar favorite of Festival audiences whose playing “embodies all that is best in 20th century piano traditions, combining the fire, poetry and tonal warmth of the grand-manner prewar era with the modern-day virtues of fastidious clarity and electrifying rhythmic flair.” Concerts include repertoire by Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, and Gershwin.
July 10 - Norway-Vulcan Performing Arts Center, Norway
July 11 - Reynolds Recital Hall, Marquette
July 14 - Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Houghton
The Bergonzi String Quartet returns to thrill audiences with its virtuosity and supremely expressive playing. Ross Harbaugh, Glenn Basham, Scott Flavin and Pamela McConnell perform Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade and string quartets by Mozart and Glière in their 21st year with the Festival. The BSQ performs the popular free children's concert in the Dickinson, Marquette and Keweenaw Areas again this season.
July 6 - Reynolds Recital Hall, Marquette
July 8 - Immaculate Conception Church, Iron Mountain
July 10 - Calumet Theatre, Calumet
Free Children's Concerts: July 6 (1PM) Peter White Public Library, Marquette; July 8 (1PM) Dickinson County Library, Iron Mountain; July 10 (1PM) Portage Lake District Library, Houghton.
The UPstarts! series continues in its fourth year at the Festival. Featuring young professionals from the Upper Peninsula, UPstarts! features Marquette artists Paige Graham (soprano), Alexis Mahler (violin), Lauren Perala (viola, violin) and Iron Mountain native Audra Hagen (saxophone). Local pianist Susan Byykkonen, UPstarts! coordinator and coach, accompanies the young musicians.
June 29 - First Presbyterian Church, Kingsford
July 1 - St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Marquette
July 2 - Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore, Munising
July 5 - (3PM) Portage Lake United Church, Houghton
July 6 - Ontonagon Theater, Ontonagon
Conducted by Artistic Director Donald Schleicher, the PMMF Symphony Orchestra, consisting of professional musicians and students of the Honors Orchestra Program, performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op.125. Featured soloists include baritone Levi Hernandez and local vocal stars tenor Miles Mykkanen, mezzo-soprano Lara Neves, and soprano Tory Wood. They are joined by a combined chorus of voices from throughout the Upper Peninsula. The orchestra also performs the Overture to Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss and Romanze in C by Jean Sibelius.
July 16 - Kingsford High School, Kingsford
July 17 - Reynolds Recital Hall, Marquette
July 18 - Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Houghton
The outstanding high-school aged musicians of the Honors Orchestra Program will have an opportunity to showcase their talent, performing in individual chamber groups. Repertoire will be announced from the stage. Free. Donations accepted at the door.
July 18 - (1PM) Portage Lake United Church, Houghton
Pine Mountain Music Festival announces its 24th season – In the Company of Friends. Opening on July 17 and concluding on August 3, the Festival features 25 performances across nearly a dozen towns in central and western Upper Peninsula. This season, new friends as well as old friends will perform a wide variety of music in an astonishing variety of settings. Solo and in ensemble, our Company of Friends will inspire and entertain.
An opening gala will feature Lucy Thrasher with Holly Janz and Anne Jennifer Nash, accompanied by Susan Byykkonen. Opera and musical theatre selections will be performed in an engaging ambience.
Tenor Miles Mykkanen, from Bessemer, will appear in a solo recital accompanied by pianist Joseph Mechavich. Miles will perform a dazzling vocal array of music by Grieg, Sibelius, Strauss and Stephen Sondheim, among others.
Jerry DePuit returns for his 11th year with the Festival to lead a Cabaret with Lucy Thrasher and Friends: Anne Jennifer Nash and Holly Janz. They will perform compositions by Kurt Weill, Cy Coleman, Kander and Ebb, Lennon and McCartney, Stephen Sondheim, Harold Arlen, Jacques Brel and more.
Returning after a much-loved 2007 concert, David C. Jonies’ will perform a program featuring the works of Handel, Saint-Saëns, Dudley Buck and Marcel Dupré.
The UPstarts! series celebrates its third year. Featuring emerging young professionals from the Upper Peninsula, this concert series will introduce strings for the first time this summer. Featured young artists are violinist Carrie Dlutkowski, from Atlantic Mine, and soprano Tory Wood, from Escanaba, who will be accompanied by Susan Byykkonen.
Joshua Major will direct Lee Hoiby’s one-act opera, The Italian Lesson. Scheduled artist Susan Nicely, due to unforeseen personal circumstances, is unable to appear in this production. Cindy Sadler will perform in this brilliant solo soprano show, based on Ruth Draper’s monologue. Joseph Mechavich will provide the accompaniment for this captivating and charming opera. The evening will also feature Lucy Thrasher, Anne Jennifer Nash, Holly Janz, Miles Mykkanen, and accompanist Joseph Mechavich in a special presentation of Handel arias directed by Joshua Major.
The Bergonzi String Quartet, celebrating its 20th year with the Festival, will present another series of exciting performances. The Fab Four’s repertoire this season includes Mozart and Janáček. In addition, guest artist and Festival founder Laura Jean Deming will join the Quartet to perform Schubert’s Quintet in C major.
The 2014 Season is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by The Shaw and Betty Walker Foundation, Payne & Dolan Company, and Portage Health.
The Pine Mountain Music Festival features a season of opera, symphony and chamber music each summer in the Dickinson County area, the Marquette area, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and other locations in the Upper Peninsula. Based in Hancock, Michigan, it is supported by donations, ticket sales, and grants. Visit the web at pmmf.org, or call 906-482-1542 for more information.
Tenor Miles Mykkanen, from Bessemer, Michigan will be featured in a solo recital accompanied by Joseph Mechavich. Currently a student at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, Miles will sing a solo evening of music that will reveal remarkable musicality and talent. Joseph Mechavich returns to the Festival as accompanist, having conducted Così fan tutte in 2012. This promises to be a noteworthy evening.
July 20 (7:30PM): Ironwood Theater, Ironwood
July 27 (3PM): Portage Lake United Church, Houghton
The concert features David C. Jonies, one of the country’s top organists who last appeared with the Festival in 2007. David will be performing a varied repertoire on world-class vintage instruments in the U.P.
July 21 (7:30PM): St. Joseph Catholic Church, Lake Linden
July 23 (7:30PM): First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Iron Mountain
July 25 (7:30PM): St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Marquette
Directed by Jerry DePuit, who returns for his 11th season with the Festival, this cabaret features the music of Kurt Weill and others. Lucy Thrasher, celebrating her 20th year with the Festival, performs with her friends, Anne Jennifer Nash and Holly Janz, in an exciting and intimate event.
July 22 (7:30PM): Crystal Theatre, Crystal Falls
July 23 (7:30PM): Ore Dock Brewing Company, Marquette
July 25 (7:30PM): Orpheum Theater, Hancock
July 26 (7:30PM): Orpheum Theater, Hancock
UPstarts!, a concert series now in its third year, exemplifies the Festival’s philosophy to support emerging professional musicians. These concerts are designed to give young musicians from the Upper Peninsula a professional context in which to perform 7 to 10 concerts in a variety of venues and communities. Musicians in the recent years have included students from Juilliard, University of Michigan, Ithaca, and Michigan State.
July 24 (7:30PM): Ontonagon Theatre, Ontonagon
July 25 (7:30PM: First Presbyterian Church, Kingsford
July 26 (7:30PM): First Presbyterian Church, Escanaba
July 28 (7:30PM): St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Marquette
July 30 (7:30PM): Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore, Munising
July 31 (7:30PM): Portage Lake United Church, Houghton
Ross, Glenn, Pamela, and Scott will bring their magic to our stages once again, and this season marks their 20th anniversary with the Festival. The relationship between these beloved musicians and the community is something to be celebrated, and we encourage all of you to join us in expressing our gratitude for 20 years of beautiful music making.
July 30 (7:30PM): Immaculate Conception Church, Iron Mountain
August 1 (7:30PM): Reynolds Recital Hall, Marquette
August 3 (3PM): Calumet Theatre, Calumet
We open our season with three Gala concerts in our main performing locations. These galas are an occasion to meet our Resident Opera Artists in a more intimate and personal setting, who will be featured in the Revue of Revues: Highlights from Seasons Past and Viva Verdi! opera concerts. We will have four Resident Opera Artists in residence this summer, and local singer Lara Neves will join them on all three events. Julie Tabash, soprano, was with us in 2012 as Despina in Cosi fan tutte and Ann in A Little Night Music; Christina Bakhoum, mezzo-soprano, is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music; Kyle Tomlin, tenor, appeared in Rockland in 2011 and in A Little Night Music in 2012; and Andrew McLaughlin, baritone, is a University of Maryland graduate from the Washington, DC, area.
June 10 (5:30 PM) Marquette Opening Gala, private residence, Marquette (heavy hors d'oeuvres, dessert, drinks included) Ticket deadline: June 3.
June 11 (5 PM) Chippewa Club Gala, Chippewa Club, Iron Mountain (dinner included; cash bar) Ticket deadline: June 4.
June 13 (6:30 PM) Keweenaw Gala, private residence, Eagle Harbor (heavy hors d'oeuvres, dessert, drinks included). Ticket deadline: June 6.
After last year’s stunning musical leadership in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Festival regular Jerry DePuit returns to present a program of his favorite selections from the revues of the past ten years. As in the past, Joshua Major will stage the revue and it will include music by Rodgers, Porter, Berlin, Kern, Sondheim, Bernstein, Edith Piaf, and other famous names. These performances will feature an addition of a cello and violin.
June 15 (7:30 PM) Ironwood Theatre, Ironwood, MI
June 16 (3 PM) Encore Nostalgic Ballroom, Florence, WI
June 17 (7:30 PM) Calumet Theatre, Calumet, MI
June 18 (7:30 PM) Ore Dock Brewing Company, Marquette, MI
The Pine Mountain Music Festival Orchestra and the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra join forces to present of concert of all Finnish music, in celebration of FinnFest USA 2013! The orchestra is comprised of long time members of the PMMF orchestra and musicians from the U.P., most of whom are members of the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra. KSO’s own Joel Neves will conduct the concert. Jukka Linkola's Bass Concerto, commissioned by John and Pauline Kiltinen for FinnFest 2005, is being revived with orginal bassist, Evan Premo as soloist. Mary Bonhag will be singing the solo in Sibelius' Luonatar, based on the creation myth from The Kalevala. (Mary was last seen with PMMF as Eve in Evan Premo's opera The Diary of Adam and Eve.) Finnish brass band Ameriikan Poijat will share the stage with the orchestra brass players to play a special brass ensemble piece.
Pre-concert talk one hour before each performance.
June 20 (8PM) Calumet Theatre, Calumet, MI
June 23 (2PM) Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Houghton, MI
Returning for another season, the Bergonzi String Quartet offers fabulous music-making, featuring Sibelius’s seldom heard String Quartet, opus 56 in D minor. This is a rousing work and will be paired with one of Beethoven’s great string quartets. Bergonzi will bring their usual flair for the theatrical, gentle manners and brilliant music-making to our stages. The Bergonzi will also perform free children's concerts on the same dates as their evening performances. The children's concert features The Legend of the Loon, a book written by Kathy-jo Wargen and illustrated by Gijberst van Frankenhuzen. The Quartet performs Pamela McConnell's special musical arrangement of a composition by Jean Sibelius. Trudy Olsson, of Houghton, will narrate the story.
June 22 (7:30 PM) Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Houghton, MI
June 24 (7:30 PM) Immaculate Conception Church, Iron Mountain, MI
June 26 (7:30 PM) Reynolds Recital Hall, Marquette, MI
This summer we are providing two free and exciting cinematic offerings! A preview of Suzanne Jurva’s documentary film, Yoopera! will be shown followed by a full screening of Rockland.
June 22 (1PM and 3PM) Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Houghton
We are excited to welcome internationally active organist and composer H. Ricardo Ramirez to the Upper Peninsula. Based in Chicago as Music Director and Organist for the Cathedral of the Holy Name, Ricardo brings a range of organ music from the ‘many waters’ of the globe. He is a versatile and exciting organist not to be missed!
June 26 (7:30PM) First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Iron Mountain
June 28 (7:30PM) St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marquette
July 2 (7:30PM) St. Joseph Catholic Church, Lake Linden
In honor of the 200th anniversary of Guiseppe Verdi’s birth, Lucy Thrasher and the emerging professional singers will be featured in an opera concert including many of Verdi’s works – Rigoletto, La Traviata, Falstaff, and more. Festival favorite Stephen Sulich will be returning to lead the singers through this unforgettable Verdi performance!
June 27 (7:30PM) Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Houghton
June 29 (7:30PM) First Presbyterian Church, Kingsford
July 1 (7:30PM) Reynolds Recital Hall, Marquette
After last year’s ecstatic response to our UPstarts series, there is no question that we will continue our concerts devoted to musicians from the Upper Peninsula. This year we feature musicians from L’Anse, Escanaba, Negaunee, and Marquette. We believe it is vital to support the professional ambitions of our own musicians and are proud to offer these concerts in pursuit of this goal. These are first rate musicians with bright futures ahead of them!
June 29 (7:30PM) Ontonagon Theatre, Ontonagon
July 1 (7:30PM) Ironwood Theatre, Ironwood
July 2 (7:30PM) Ely Memorial Church, Land O’ Lakes
July 3 (7:30PM) First Presbyterian Church, Kingsford
July 7 (7:30PM) St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marquette
July 8 (7:30PM) Falling Rock Café and Bookstore, Munising
July 9 (4PM) First Presbyterian Church, Escanaba
July 11 (7:30PM) Portage Lake United Church, Houghton
After performing a wonderful Bach concert a few years ago, Louis Nagel returns this year with another program full of variety and excitement!
July 6 (7:30PM) Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, Houghton
July 9 (7:30PM) Reynolds Recital Hall, Marquette
Making a name for themselves in concert halls around the globe, the Common Ground Baroque Ensemble (violin, cello, and theorbo) returns to the Upper Peninsula to bring more electrifying music, some old and some contemporary, French, Spanish, and Italian.
July 10 (7:30PM) Immaculate Conception Church, Iron Mountain
July 12 (7:30PM) First Presbyterian Church, Marquette
July 13 (4PM) Baroquatunitea at Four Seasons Team Room, Houghton Note: Advance ticket required. Deadline to purchase July 10.
July 13 (7:30PM) Portage Lake United Church, Houghton
We opened our season with three Gala concerts in our main performing locations. These galas were an occasion to meet our Resident Opera Artists in a more intimate and personal setting, who were featured in our production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte.
The extraordinary Ana Vidovic returned to the Upper Peninsula! She was last seen in our 2008 season and was a stunning addition to the Festival. This international guitar sensation brought her exceptional musicianship, technical mastery, and grace to our concert stages once again. This was a special evening set in the intimate venues of the Upper Peninsula.
Mozart’s Così fan tutte, the third collaboration with Lorenzo da Ponte, is a masterpiece of comic invention and dramatic detail. Two young men disguise themselves to test their lovers’ fidelity and what starts out as fun and games, turns into something no one quite bargained for. The alternative title, The School for Lovers (La scuola degli amanti) is perhaps a more precise description of the opera – four naïve young lovers trying to understand and figure out the nature of love and relationships. The mischief makers, Don Alfonso and Despina, two characters with a little more experience, lead the young lovers through the opera, imparting their worldly advice and cynical points of view. The opera was conducted by the remarkable Joseph Mechavich (Il matrimonio segreto 2010) and directed by Artistic Director, Joshua Major. (Pre-opera talk one hour before performance by Joseph Mechavich.)
This concert featured the future of classical music with all Upper Peninsula musicians! Miles Mykkanen, tenor, from Bessemer and Amanda Boundy, soprano, from Eben Junction are the featured vocalists. Also featured on flute was Savannah Clayton from Calumet. Joining these soloists on piano was another Calumet musical star Susan Byykkonen. These sensational musicians offered a thrilling concert of music familiar and new.
The Bergonzi String Quartet returned to the Festival with their humor, joy, and spirited music making. We were very excited to roll out the red carpet to this foursome so dear to all of us. They were joined by pianist Tian Ying to perform a new arrangement of Gershwin’s great Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and String Quartet.
This concert featured the romantic and lush music of Johannes Brahms including solo piano music with the beautiful playing of Tian Ying at the keyboard and two Brahms Lullabies with Pamela McConnell of the Bergonzi Quartet on viola and Mezzo Soprano Natalie Easter. Steven McGee (Piano), Alison Scherzer (Soprano), Natalie Easter (Mezzo), Kyle Tomlin (Tenor) and Jonathan Christopher (Baritone) joined Tian Ying to present the romantic and thrilling Liebeslieder Waltzes for two pianists and four singers.
Luretta Bybee, guest artist in our production of A Little Night Music, offered a public Master Class for our Resident Opera Artists. This Master teacher, with an international performing and teaching career, worked with our singers in a Master Class format. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn a little bit about what goes into becoming a successful opera singer.
Young rising star, Jeremy Tarrant, brought his exciting organ playing to the U.P. He has been Organist and Choirmaster of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Episcopal) in Detroit since 2000 and is quickly developing an exciting international career.
Led by PMMF regular trombonist, Mark Fry, this exciting group of Brass players brought their passion and virtuoso playing to the U.P. Third Coast Brass is comprised of some of the finest brass musicians in the Midwestern United States holding positions in prestigious ensembles including the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Their repertoire included Mozart, Sibelius, Ewald, Sondheim and more.
Sondheim’s enduring and touching masterpiece, A Little Night Music, continued where Così fan tutte leaves off. With a sweeping, lush score, (“Send in the Clowns,” “A Weekend in the Country”) and a plot that cleverly weaves together stories of love, intrigue and heartache, Sondheim continues our exploration of love. Based on Ingmar Bergman's film Smiles of a Summer Night, A Little Night Music is set in a weekend country house in turn-of-the-century Sweden. This witty and romantic story with music set in ¾ time is the perfect midsummer musical. A middle-aged lawyer, an 18-year-old bride, a sardonic old woman, the somber brooding son of the middle-aged lawyer, a former actress lover, the military lover of the former actress lover, the manic depressive wife of the military lover of the former actress lover, and a maid all end up spending a weekend together in a country estate. Wit, romance, heartache and finally, reconciliation ensue.
Jukka Linkola, Composer
The New World Premiere performances of the Pine Mountain Music Festival's new opera Rockland took place on July 15 and 17, 2011 at the Rozsa Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. Both performances were sold out, and audience reactions were very enthusiastic.
This opera is based on a long-forgotten incident in Rockland, Ontonagon County, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in 1906, when a group of striking Finnish copper miners were confronted by sheriff’s deputies. Shots were fired, and two Finnish miners were killed.
One of the miners, Alfred Laakso, wrote an account of the events, which his grandson, Andy Hill, read a few years ago and thought would make a good piece of musical theater. He discussed this with John Kiltinen, who saw possibilities for an opera.
John Kiltinen pitched the idea to Pine Mountain Music Festival, whose board liked it. In short order, John Kiltinen and his wife, Pauline, raised the money for the commissioning phase, partly from themselves and partly from the late Gloria Jackson, who had family roots in Nivala, Finland.
Jussi Tapola, a well-known stage director at Finnish National Opera, was hired as librettist, and Jukka Linkola, a renowned composer with several other operas and symphonic works to his credit, was given the job of composing the opera. It was completed in mid-2009.
The Nivala Festival (Jokilaaksojen Musiikkisäätiö)produced the Old World Premiere of "Rockland" in June 2011 production in Finland.
The Michigan production was supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts; Finlandia Foundation National; Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission; The American-Scandinavian Foundation; Wisconsin Public Service Foundation; and Finn Spark, Inc.
In the Rockland logo, the pick symbolizes the mining profession of the protagonists, and generally the frontier life in which so many of the early settlers, our ancestors, struggled to survive and make a better life for their descendants.
The white rose is to provide contrast to the pick, as the opera includes a love interest. It also provides an interesting historical reference, as Alfred Laakso was a member of the White Rose Temperance Society in Rockland.
The thorns on the rose stem (the arm of the "R") symbolize that life could be hard, and difficulties could arise.
On Friday July 15, purchasers of the $125 premium tickets were invited to a reception with the composer at 6:00 PM in the Rozsa Center Art Gallery (downstairs from the lobby).
Following the Sunday July 17 performance, all attendees were invited to mingle in the lobby and to meet various descendents of Alfred Laakso, on whose first-hand account the opera is based, and to mingle with the artists. Light refreshments were served.
Rebroadcast of "Rockland" performance! The "Rockland" performance on Sunday, July 17, was web-streamed live, and was rebroadcast on Wednesday July 20, and Sunday July 24. Click here to view the web stream and for more information. These broadcasts had over 60,000 viewers in 28 countries.
To help promote the opera, Pine Mountain Music Festival worked with community artist Mary Wright on a project called "The Story Line." Schoolchildren and others in many communities in the Upper Peninsula were invited to write the story of an ancestor who worked hard and overcame adversity, like the people in the opera. These one-page stories were then transferred to dishtowel-sized pieces of fabric and hung from "clotheslines" as a way of honoring our ancestors and making young people aware of the history on which their lives are built. These displays appeared in various communities and ultimately around the Rozsa Center at the time of the opera’s premiere in July 2011.
To view photos of Rockland, visit our Facebook gallery.