HANCOCK - The Pine Mountain Music Festival kicks off the season of music and entertainment with a series of recitals and lectures leading up to the anticipated "Rockland" the opera.
"This season, we have a wonderful variety of musicians and concerts, which will culminate in the premiere of Jukka Linkola's stirring opera, Rockland," said Joshua Major, artistic director for PMMF.
Opening performances of the 21st season of the Pine Mountain Music Festival begin with recitals and special events, including a chance to meet with the resident opera artists in an intimate setting while learning of highlights of the opera and American theatre repertoire. Locally, the Keweenaw Kickoff Gala will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday at De la Terre Bistro in Lake Linden. The Chippewa Club Gala will be held in Iron Mountain.
The "New York and Paris in Revue!" featuring Jerry DePuit, will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Calumet Theatre in Calumet. DePuit returns to lead the resident opera artists in a celebration of cities, New York and Paris, and features music by Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Edith Piaf and others. "New York and Paris in Revue!" will also take place in Marquette, Florence, Wis., Escanaba and Ironwood.
International organist Christina Harmon will return to the U.P. and will be joined by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra's conductor Joel Neves and Marquette Symphony Orchestra's Mark Flaherty on trumpet in an evening of music at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Linden. Other locations include Iron Mountain, Escanaba and Ishpeming.
Esa Ruuttunen and Craig Randal Johnson in Recital will take place June 27 at the Portage Lake United Church in Houghton. Ruuttunen, a celebrated singer in Finland and Johnson, a conductor and pianist from Minneapolis, will team up to present the recital of Finnish music. The duo recently performed together in Finland and the event precedes "Jonathan and Stephanie Shames: Two Pianos, Four Hands" which will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts at Michigan Technological University.
Chamber music by the Pine Mountain Music Festival String Octet will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church in Houghton. Eight members of the opera orchestra will play masterpieces of the string chamber music repertoire featuring Shostakovich's Prelude and Scherzo for Octet, Op. 11; Tchaikovsky's Sextet in D Minor, Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70 and Mendelssohn's Octet in E-flat Major.
A series of free lectures pertaining to Rockland will be held at the Jutila Center in Hancock.
At 5 p.m. July 12, Carl Rahkonen will present "The Finnish America Musical Journey: From Rune Singing to the Rockland Opera."
At 5 p.m. July 13, the symposium will be held on commissioning new music with John and Pauline Kiltinen, Jukka Linkola, Peter Van Pelt and Jaana Juntto-Rautio. At 5 p.m. July 14, Larry Lankton will present "History and Conditions of the Mining Industry in the Copper Country in the Early 1900s" and at 7 p.m. July 16, Arnold Alanen will present "Finnish Impact on the Cultural Landscape in North America," with special attention to Rockland.
At 7 p.m. July 14, "Ameriikan Poijat," a brass septet playing together for more than 20 years throughout Finland, the United States and Canada, will performing at the Calumet Theatre. The concert will be followed by dancing.
The premiere of Rockland, which has been five years in the making, will take place at 7:30 p.m. July 15 and 3 p.m. July 17 at the Rozsa Center. The opera is based "on heart-wrenching events in 1906 in Rockland, a copper mining town where Finnish miners went on strike over wages and working conditions."