Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cultural events related to opera "Rockland" being held July 13, 14, 16

HANCOCK -- Several events related to the Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) production of the opera Rockland are happening this week.

At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, PMMF will present a free symposium on commissioning new music -- with a panel composed of John and Pauline Kiltinen, Jukka Linkola, Esa Ruuttunen and Peter Van Pelt. This event will be held at Portage Lake United Church in Houghton. The Kiltinens, of Marquette, have been ardent supporters of Rockland from the beginning. Linkola is the Finnish composer of Rockland and numerous other musical works. Ruuttunen is a well-known baritone who will sing in Rockland. He is artistic director of the Jokilaakso Music Foundation in Finland which produced the Old World Premiere of the opera. Van Pelt is executive director of Pine Mountain Music Festival.

At 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, at the Jutila Center in Hancock, Larry Lankton, professor of history at Michigan Technological University and author of several books and articles on the area, will speak on "History and Conditions of the Mining Industry in the Copper Country in the Early 1900s." Lankton is well-known as a popular lecturer on historical topics. The event is free and open to the public.

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, Arnold Alanen, the 2009-2010 Finlandia Foundation National Lecturer of the Year and professor emeritus of landscape architecture at University of Wisconsin-Madison, will speak on "Finnish Impact on the Cultural Landscape in North America." His talk will be illustrated with numerous slides and will give special attention to Rockland. This free event will also be at the Jutila Center in Hancock.

Besides these free events, the Ameriikan Poijat (Boys of America), a brass septet from Minnesota, will present a 7 p.m. concert on July 14 at the Calumet Theatre, followed by dancing in the ballroom. Tickets for this event are $15 (or $10 for students and children). Andy Hill, resident of Wakefield and grandson of Alfred Laakso on whose first-hand account the opera Rockland is based, will be narrator for this concert.

Pine Mountain Music Festival will present the New World Premiere of the opera Rockland at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 15, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 17, at the Rozsa Center in Houghton. Tickets are still available.

Click here to read details on the Rockland performance.

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