Monday, May 21, 2012

Pine Mountain Music Festival 22nd Season: "It's All About Love ..."

HANCOCK -- Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) announces its 22nd season -- "It’s All About Love: from Mozart to Sondheim." Opening on June 7 and concluding on July 15, the Festival will enchant audiences in nearly a dozen towns across the central and western Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. Some 37 performances will be presented, including opera, musical theatre, chamber music, and classical recitals.

Two productions this summer, Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, propose two views of love from very different perspectives. Both offer comedy and an insightful look at human nature and our search for love. In Così, two young men disguise themselves to test their lovers’ fidelity, and what begins as fun and games turns into something no one quite bargained for. The production will be sung in Italian, with projected English surtitles and an orchestra in the pit. Featuring PMMF's six Resident Opera Artists, Così will tour to Norway on June 17, Marquette on June 19, and Calumet on June 21.

Sondheim’s enduring and touching masterpiece, A Little Night Music, is the perfect midsummer musical. 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 the festival's exploration of love. Featuring guest artists Lucy Thrasher (Désirée), Marquette’s Paul Truckey (Fredrick), and sensational singer Luretta Bybee (Madam Armfeldt) along with PMMF Resident Opera Artists, A Little Night Music will be performed on July 13 and 15 in Houghton.

Returning after a year’s absence, the Bergonzi String Quartet will make their 15th appearance with the Festival. Bringing their charm, humor, and great music-making to the stage, they will be joined by piano sensation Tian Ying to offer a version of Gershwin’s masterpiece "Rhapsody in Blue" for string quartet and piano. Evening concerts and free afternoon children’s concerts are scheduled in Houghton on June 23, Kingsford on June 25, and Marquette on June 26.

Opening the season will be three Gala concerts: June 7 in Marquette, June 12 in Houghton, and June 13 in Iron Mountain. Offered in intimate and personal settings, these concerts introduce the festival's six Resident Opera Artists, who were selected through nationwide auditions from over 350 applicants.

International Croatian guitar sensation, Ana Vidovic, returns to the Upper Peninsula where she enthralled audiences in 2007 and 2008.  Once again, Ana will bring her exceptional musicianship, technical mastery, and grace to concert stages in Iron Mountain on June 14, Marquette on June 16, and Calumet on June 18.

“An Evening of Brahms” concert features the stunning solo piano playing of Tian Ying, two Brahms lullabies with Pamela McConnell of the Bergonzi String Quartet, and the romantic Liebeslieder Waltzes featuring four our Resident Opera Artists. Performances are scheduled on June 28 in Kingsford, June 30 in Houghton, and July 2 in Marquette.

Michigan native and rising star, Jeremy David Tarrant, will offer the festival's annual organ recital in Calumet on July 3, Ishpeming on July 6, and Iron Mountain on July 10.

This season, PMMF welcomes the Third Coast Brass ensemble, comprised of some of the finest brass musicians in the Midwestern United States, in a program featuring music of Mozart, Sibelius, Ewald, and Sondheim. Hear them in Marquette on July 5, Iron Mountain on July 6, and in Houghton on July 8.

A special feature of the Festival this year is an “UPstarts” concert, featuring up-and-coming musicians from the Upper Peninsula.  Tenor Miles Mykkanen from Bessemer and soprano Amada Boundy from Eben Junction will join Savannah Clayton, flute, and Susan Byykonen, piano, both from Calumet, to give audiences a look at what the U.P. can accomplish. They will perform seven concerts throughout the U.P. and Wisconsin: June 22 in Ontonagon, June 23 in Ironwood, June 24 in Land O’Lakes (WI), June 27 in Ishpeming, June 28 in Escanaba, June 29 in Munising, and July 1 in Houghton.

The Pine Mountain Music Festival presents a season of opera, symphony and chamber music each June-July in the Dickinson County area, the Marquette area, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and other smaller towns in the Upper Peninsula and northeastern Wisconsin.  Headquartered in Hancock, Michigan, it is supported by donations, ticket sales, and grants. Visit the web at, or call 888-309-7861 for more information. Tickets are now on sale and are available by calling 1-877-746-3999.

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