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Saturday, June 09, 2018

Pine Mountain Music Festival brings opera, flamenco, Bergonzi Quartet, young classical talent to U.P. June 15-30

The 2018 Pine Mountain Music Festival will present Bizet's sensuous opera, Carmen, starring Amanda Crider as Carmen. Pictured here is French flamenco dancer Karyne Arys as the Gypsy dancer in the opera. She also appears in the festival's Alma Flamenca and "A Taste of Carmen." (Photos courtesy Pine Mountain Music Festival)

HOUGHTON -- Welcome to the 28th season of the Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF)! The 2018 festival takes place June 15 - June 30 in Houghton, Calumet, Marquette, Iron Mountain, and Crystal Falls. This season's pièce de résistance is Bizet’s sensuous opera, Carmen, presented with full orchestra in Houghton’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts featuring Amanda Crider as Carmen, Isaac Hurtado as Don José, Heather Youngquist as Micaëla and Christopher Holmes as Escamillo. World-class French flamenco dancer Karyne Arys from Bordeaux, France, will dance the Gypsy dance to open Act II -- joined by guitarist "Polchu" from Paris and percussionist, Kahlil Sabbagh. The orchestra and chorus include professional musicians from the U.P. and surrounding areas.

Flamenco dancer Karyne Arys, makes her stunning debut at the Festival. Karyne brings nuanced athleticism and sensitive artistry to this ancient Spanish dance form. In addition to performing in the opera Carmen June 28 and 30, her troupe will perform in Alma Flamenca at the Crystal Theatre in Crystal Falls on June 23 and in the Calumet Theatre on June 24.

Iron Mountain and Marquette will enjoy "A Taste of Carmen," including arias from Carmen and dances from Alma Flamenca, appropriate for inclusion with the songs of Carmen.
Inset photo: French Flamenco dancer Karyne Arys.

The Bergonzi String Quartet, returning for its 24th residency at the Pine Mountain Music Festival, will perform concerts June 20 in Reynolds Hall, Marquette; June 21 at Immaculate Conception Church, Iron Mountain; and on June 23 at the Rozsa Center, Houghton. Their 2018 repertoire includes Divertimento No. 3, K. 138 (Mozart), Quartet, Op. 11 (Barber), and Quartet in C Minor (Brahms).
The Bergonzi String Quartet will perform in Marquette, Iron Mountain and Houghton.

The quartet also continues its special tradition of presenting free children's concerts throughout the U.P.*

The inspiring UPstarts concert series, now in its 6th year, features talented young musicians from the Upper Peninsula. Winning participants are selected from a peninsula-wide UPstarts Talent Contest that mines the best talent in the region. The 2018 winners are Elizabeth Grugin, Cheyenne Kaufman, Irene Ra, and Isabel Valencia. Susie Byykkonen, the festival's staff accompanist, accompanies the group. They will perform in Marquette, Houghton and Kingsford.

Justin Spenner and Mario Perez -- creators of the innovative B-Sides Art Song Collective -- will present a one-night-only vocal recital of the sublime art songs of German Romantic composer Robert Schumann on June 19 at Portage Lake United Church in Houghton. Works include Dichterliebe (A Poet's Love) and Liederkreis (Round of Songs). Leslie Dukes accompanies.

Pine Mountain Music Festival has a lasting commitment to bringing classical music to the Western Upper Peninsula. The Festival was founded in Iron Mountain, Michigan, in 1991 by Laura Jean Deming, a cellist and member of the orchestra of Lyric Opera of Chicago. That first season was primarily chamber music, but by 1992 opera was being produced. Carmen will be the 37th opera produced by PMMF.

This year the Festival is offering a $99 family season pass. This is part of a concerted effort to bring the next generation out to enjoy fine music. Festival artists will also conduct workshops and visit schools as "artists in residence" to further enlighten the next generation.

As residence of the U.P. we revel in our quality of life in this extraordinary land. Pine Mountain Music Festival is a major element in maintaining the special cultural perfection we enjoy. Tickets are available at**

* Visit for event details.
** Click here for the calendar and click on an event to order tickets or see the PMMF 2018 Ticket Brochure for more details.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Photography exhibit by Terhi Asumaniemi to open June 7 at Finlandia University Gallery

The Dawn, 2017. Pigment print by Finnish visual artist Terhi Asumaniemi. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University Gallery)

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University Gallery will present the work of Finnish visual artist Terhi Asumaniemi. Mindscapes - Forest Narratives, a photography exhibit, will be on display from June 7 to July 20, 2018. The Finlandia University Gallery is located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock.

An opening reception for the public will take place at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, with an artist talk beginning at 7:20 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Photographing the changing forests and mire landscapes of southern Finland, Terhi Asumaniemi examines our relationship with nature and how it is shaped by the cultural attitudes of the times and the moral and spiritual connections humans have with the environment. As forest industry has expanded in Finland, the forests of the artist’s childhood look different and mysterious to her now. Her poetic landscapes delve deeply into the interwoven relationship of humans and their environment.

The artist Terhi Asumaniemi.

"My own roots are in the rugged deep forests of southern Finland," says Asumaniemi. "According to research and oral tradition this area was in olden times inhabited by a mythical, indigenous people, which has been characterized as 'the Sami people' of the South. This vanished folk lived in the wooded areas up to the start of the modern age eventually blending into the main population. These days there is dispute about their real origin (about who they really were); however, they still live on in stories and legends."

Midsummer Magic by Terhi Asumaniemi.

"In my work I follow old stories deep into the forest where the real landscapes meet the way others describe, comprehend, and interpret their life-worlds resulting in various states of mind," continues Asumaniemi. "The creatures of the forest show themselves in the firelight, the ancient sea washes the rocks of the water spirits and the wanderer is lead to the expansive mire landscapes by those who watch over the deer."

Asumaniemi lives and works in Tampere, Finland. She received an MA in photography and visual journalism from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki, Finland (2012), and a BA degree from Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1998).

Birdsong by Terhi Asumaniemi.
The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 906-487-7500.

Click here to learn more about this exhibit, other exhibits and the Finlandia University Gallery.