Interview with Dr. Joel Neves, artistic director of the Pine Mountain Music Festival

May 11, 2018

Georges Bizet's opera 'Carmen' will be presented at the Rozsa Center, June 28th and 30th.
Credit / Pine Mountain Music Festival

The 28th season of the Pine Mountain Music Festival is beginning soon, with the 2018 festival taking place June 15th - June 30th.  Artistic Director Dr. Joel Neves stopped by our studios to talk about the exciting line-up this year.

Artistic Director Dr. Joel Neves
Credit / Pine Mountain Music Festival

This season's pièce de résistance is Bizet’s sensuous opera, Carmen, presented with full orchestra in Houghton’s Rozsa Theater and featuring Amanda Crider as Carmen, Isaac Hurtado as Don José, Heather Youngquist as Micaëla and Christopher Holmes as Escamillo.  Karyne Arys from Bordeaux, France will dance the Gypsy dance to open Act II joined by guitarist, “Polchu” from Paris and percussionist, Kahlil Sabbagh.

Iron Mountain, and Marquette, will also enjoy “A Taste of Carmen”, including arias from Carmen and dances from Alma Flamenca, appropriate for inclusion with the songs of Carmen.  The Bergonzi String Quartet will perform concerts in Iron Mountain, Marquette and in Houghton.  The Upstarts, young college and high school singers and musicians from the U.P. will also perform in the three communities.  Alma Flamenca with French Flamenca dancer will be presented in the historic theatres of Calumet and Crystal Falls.

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 starting May 10 at