The Pine Mountain Music Festival will bring opera, classical and contemporary music to the Keweenaw in June, including a concert version of Elena Ruehr’s opera, “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.” The opera will be performed by Guerilla Opera, a Boston-based opera company, and is based on a graphic novel about Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. The festival will also feature a steampunk-themed gala at the Quincy Mine Hoist House on June 14. The festival is being presented in partnership with Michigan Tech’s Colleges of Computing and College of Sciences and Arts, The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts Presenting Series, and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.
The Pine Mountain Music Festival is set to return this June, bringing a mixture of classical, opera, and contemporary music to various locations throughout the Keweenaw region of Michigan. The festival, which is described as an “international festival that has a homegrown feel” by co-executive director Libby Meyer, has been a staple of the local music scene for many years.
The festival will showcase a range of traditional favorites, such as Haydn and Beethoven, but will also feature newer composers who are still able to captivate audiences. Co-executive director Danielle Simandl explained that this makes the decision-making process difficult, but it is a challenge that they welcome.
One of the highlights of this year’s festival will be a concert version of Elena Ruehr’s opera, “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.” The opera is based on a graphic novel that tells the story of Ada Lovelace, the world’s first programmer, and Charles Babbage, who developed plans for the forerunner of the computer. Ruehr, who grew up in the Upper Peninsula and now teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has created a work that not only celebrates Lovelace’s achievements but also highlights the role of women in STEM.
The opera will be performed by Guerilla Opera, a Boston-based opera company that performs without a conductor or formal music director. There will be two shows at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts: June 16 from 5-6 p.m. and June 17 from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Although the summer production of the opera won’t have the full staging of the opera, the fully staged production will premiere in October. This will be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of computer science at Michigan Tech and will be presented in partnership with the colleges of Computing and College of Sciences and Arts, The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts Presenting Series, and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts and Michigan Arts and Culture Council.
The opera and the original graphic novel are in the style of steampunk, which combines Victorian-era fashions, steam-powered machinery, and anachronistic accessories. In keeping with the theme, the festival will also host a steampunk-themed gala at the Quincy Mine Hoist. This will feature desserts, music, and conversation and will be held from 8-10 p.m. on June 14 at the Quincy Mine Hoist House.
The Pine Mountain Music Festival is a unique event that showcases the best of both local and international talent. With its diverse range of music and performances, the festival is sure to be a hit with music lovers of all ages and backgrounds. So, mark your calendars for June and get ready to experience the magic of the Pine Mountain Music Festival.