Italian Opera Night singers and musicians just in case you need more information before buying a ticket.


There are only a few seats left for the Saturday night performance of the Italian Opera Night Gala on June 5 at Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and dinner will be served beginning at 7 p.m. The price is $60 a person with the proceeds going to the performers and future opera programs. Sorry, Friday night is sold out.

The evening will begin with Katie Corning, Matthew Goinz and the entire ensemble singing “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici from Verdi’s “La Traviata.”   Linda Wagner and Fulton Gallagher will follow with "Sempre libera" also from Verdi’s “La Traviata.” Joseph Vene will sing an aria from Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” Julia Lemon will follow with “O mio babbino caro” by Puccini and Mark Christensen, Fulton Gallagher, Katie Corning and the ensemble will close the first act with “Lume custode e vincie” from Verdi’s “Aida.”

The singers for this event include Mark Christensen, Katherine Corning, Dallas Dubke, Mattea Elhard, Matthew Goinz, Lacey Homuth, Jake Kaehne, Julia Lamon, Michael Lamon, Joshua Nice, John Peterson, John Stewart, Tony Tommaro, Joseph Vene, Sara Wabrowetz and Linda Wagner.

Abe Hunter is Music Director and Associate Conductor is Matthew Goinz. A string trio of Michelle Laliberte and Andrew Green on violin and Eric Haugen on cello will accompany some of the pieces.

It is hard to say I’ve saved the best for last because all the selections are wonderful. But, the final piece from a favorite opera I haven’t seen in years is the “Anvil Chorus” from “Il Trovatore” by Verdi. It will be performed Asti’s Restaurant style.
“This festive institution, opened in 1925, is perhaps the longest-running musical revue in New York. Everybody sings: the waiters, the bartenders, even the owner, Augusto Mariani. Hundreds of photographs testify to Asti’s popularity in the opera world.” New York Times May 24, 2010.

I am sure my friend Evan Hazard already knew that but thought it would be a good “teaser.” P.S. Fulton Gallagher’ brother was a waiter and singer at Asti’s for many years.
We will be there Friday night, June 4 and it’s is nice to see that the ladies get to wear some elegant frocks. Maybe, this time I’ll get Ernie to wear a tux as well—I do not own a fancy dress!

Matthew Goinz will be going off to graduate school this fall—kudos to you, Matt, for graduating this spring from BSU.

Posted in Uncategorized

Please note some changes in calendar for Long Lake theater

Long Lake Theater has changed its programming this summer and the changes can be seen on the Calendar listing blog. 

Thanks to those of you who have gone out and bought tickets for tonight’s "Stars in the Street" celebration at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.  Tickets will be sold right up until show time for the Kevin Kling story-telling part of the celebration.  Zach Curtis will be there to introduce the upcoming season with some of the actors also making an appearance.

The Oak Hills Choir Concert will be held this Sunday at 6 p.m., Sunday, May 23 at the Evangelical Free church, 115 Carr Lake Rd. Attendees will appreciate the time and effort this group has put into producing and performing this sacred concert. 

please look at the last two blog entries to make sure you know the different offerings for this weekend–all the venues are hoping for good audiences.

Posted in Uncategorized

Attending events this week will prove to be challenging.

Two major events are planned for the same day and at the same time. Paul Bunyan Playhouse Stars in the Street 60th Anniversary celebration with Kevin Kling and author Leif Enger at the Bemidji Public Library—what a difficult choice to make!

As always, my best source of information on upcoming library celebrity events, Marilyn Heltzer, came through on this one as well with lots of background information and praise for Enger. For the old timers here in Bemidji, do you remember when Leif Enger was the sole employee of the MPR affiliate here in Bemidji? According to Marilyn, he worked by himself and did everything—I hope that didn’t include having to empty the trash. Enger spent 20 years with MPR and before he went out on his own as an author, he and his brother Lee wrote a mystery series about a retired major league baseball player living on a lake in Northern MN. The series was published under the name L.L.Enger. Marilyn claims to have enjoyed them very much.
Enger’s first novel, “Peace Like A River” was on the N.Y. Times best seller list. Both Marilyn and Laura Bush share the distinction of having declared that it is a great book. His newest book, “So Brave, Young and Handsome” is out now. “Leif has an incredible gift for the language,” said Marilyn. Well, as for me, I am going to verify that claim Thursday, May 20 and get there early enough to get a seat for the 7 p.m. talk by Enger.

Sculpture Walk 2010-11 Opening Reception is at the Wild Rose Theater this Saturday, May 22. The public is invited to meet and talk with the artists who belong to the new pieces or the artists who embellished the fiberglass Beavers around town. Folks are asked to bring a dish to share for the event which will begin at 5:30 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. Wendy Greenberg will be calling Contra Dance (Celtic style line dance) at 7 p.m. for those at the reception. Anyone who wants to attend the Contra Dance without the reception will be asked to contribute what they can (from $5 to $10) to help underwrite the cost of the reception. Make sure you get around town to look at some of the pieces being installed this year. They get better and better each year—the other day, I saw an elderly gentleman being nudged by his wife for looking at the lovely diver on the corner of Fourth Street and Paul Bunyan Drive. Thanks from the Bemidji community for all the time and effort the Sculpture Walk Committee puts into this public art project. It is appreciated by residents and visitors alike.

In the column this week, there was mention of more information about the handbell concert this Saturday, May 22 at Bangsberg Hall. The 7 p.m. concert is hosted by the Lutheran Student Fellowship and, although there is no admission charge, they ask for a $10 donation to help defray the cost of the event. “Strikepoint” is based at the First United Methodist Church in Duluth and has been touring since 1985 with an international tour every two to three years. The “directorless” ensemble is lead by nationally known handbell clinician and conductor, Bill Alexander. The group rings on six octaves of bells which is almost the range of a piano keyboard. Treble ringers can hold up to six bells in their hands at one time. Bass ringers might use their whole bodies to move the 13-pound bronze bells. The program is varied but some of the audience favorites are Debussy’s “Arabesque,” Bach’s “Little Fugue” and Disney’s “Studios Under the Sea.” For handbell enthusiasts, this is a concert that would be hard to miss.

You were promised more information about the upcoming Italian Opera Night Gala but I suspect you have read just about all you can for the present. Information about the gala with notes about the selections, singers and musicians will be forthcoming in a couple of days. Let’s get this weekend under our belts first.

If anyone is interested in seeing an Air Show with the Thunderbirds this Saturday, Grand Forks Air Force Base is hosting this amazing fleet of pilots. Just take U.S. Highway 2 West past the city of Grand Forks and you will see signs for the base. It is easy to get to and don’t forget to take a chair for sitting and a picnic lunch. If you see us there with the grands, please stop and say hello. This is a great family event.

Congratulations are due to Beverly Everett and the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra for having achieved Finalist status in the American Prize Conducting and Orchestral Competition. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the announced winners will include our hometown orchestra and conductor.



Newest entires always in bold italics

June 2010

June 2,9, 16, 23at 3 p.m., "The Foreigner" by Larry Shue at  Long Lake Theater, 218-732-0099 for ticket information and reservations. (change of play) 

June 9 to 19—–“Biloxi Blues,” by Neil Simon, is a play about a group of young recruits in boot camp during WW II.Paul Bunyan Playhouse

June 20 at 7 p.m. Bemidji Community Band concert at Baker Park or Bangsberg depending on weather.

June 23 to July 3.—–“Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” by Steve Martin depicts an imaginary meeting between Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein.

June 23 at 12 noon–BACM Free Church Handbell Choir with Judy Emery, director. Evangelical Free Church, 115 Carr Lake Rd., SW.

June 25 and 26, 7:30 p.m.–the Loon Opera Company–"The Telephone" and "The Medium" both by Gian Carlo Menotti, Wild Rose Theater, $12 at the door, Call 218-368-8805 for reservations.

June 26–2-4 p.m.–Beltrami County Historical Society "Red, White and Blue High Tea" at Diamond Point Park in the main park building. A one-of-a-kind event with musical accompaniment while elegantly attired ladies (from grandmothers to granddaughters) enjoy spring teas, savories (sandwiches), scones and sweets.  This event is for the whole family, not just the ladies. Gentlemen are also encouraged to wear vintage clothing. Call 444-3376 or stop by the History enter for reserved seating by June  10.

June 30 at 12 noon–BACM Abe Hunter on piano at First Lutheran Church.

July 2010

July 4 at 7 p.m. Bemidji Community Band concert at Baker Park or Bangsberg depending up weather.

July 7 – 17.—–“Dracula,” a play written by Stephen Dietz based upon Bram Stoker original story about the eternal struggle between good and evil.J

July 6-17 Crimson Creek Players–"Spelling Bee" musical comedy at the Fire Hall Theater, Grand Forks,ND. Tickets at 701-777-4090.

July 7 at 12 noon- BACM Dr. Beverly Everett on the organ, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 1800 Irving Ave.NW.

July 7,14,21, 28 at 3 p.m. "The Kitchen Witches" by Caroline Smith, Long Lake Theater, 218-732-0099 for ticket information and reservations. (change of play)

July 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31 at 7:30 p.m."The Kitchen Witches" by Caroline Smith Long Lake Theater, 218-732-0099 for ticket information and reservations. (change of play)

July 14 at 12 noon-BACM Lois Simonson on piano, Evangelical Covenant Church, 5405 Hwy. 2 W.

July 16 -18 "Clean House" by Sarah Ruhl at Wild Rose Theater.

July 17—Summer Pops Concert, BSO. free

July 18–7 p.m. Bemidji Community Band concert at Baker Park or Bangsberg depending up weather.

July 21-31—-“Boys Next Door,” by Tom Griffin is a dramatic comedy about four developmentally disabled men who live together in a group home,

July 21 at 12 noon–BACM Glenn Seibel on euphonium and Wayne Hoff on piano, United Methodist Church, 9th and Beltrami Ave.

July 28 at 12 noon–BACM Calvary Musicians, Calvary Lutheran Church 2508 Washington Ave.

August 2010

August 1 — 7 p.m.,Bemidji Community Band concert at Baker Park or Bangsberg depending up weather.

August 3-14, Mel Brooks comedy, "The Producers" by Crimson Creek players, Burtness Theater on the campus of University of North Dakota, tickets  $18/15. 701-777-4090.

August 4 -14—–“Gypsy,” by Stephen Sondheim tells the story of Gypsy Rose Lee and how she became a burlesque star.

August 4 at 12 noon–BACM Wayne Hoff on the organ, Aardahl Lutheran Church, Co. Rd. 403 (East on Roosevelt Rd. to Van Buren, turn right.)

August 6, 7,8 Family Music Festival at lake Itasca–see

August 11 at 12 noon –BACM Joe Henry on piano and organ, Church of St. Philip, 702 Beltrami Ave.

August 18 at 12 noon–BACM Muff Magelssen,organ; Don MacKinnon, piano and The Other Mountain Remnant Band at First Presbyterian Church, 501 Minnensota Ave. NW.

August 4,11,18,25 at 3 p.m. "The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged" Long Lake Theater, 218-732-0099 for ticket information and reservations.

August 5-7, 12-14, 19-21,26-28 at 7:30 p.m. "The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged" Long Lake Theater, 218-732-0099 for ticket information and reservations.

August 25 at 12 noon–BACM Kenneth J. Wold,organ; Mike Fiske, Violin; Leah Kelm, flute; Tracy parthun andLeah Kelm bell trees at Evangelical Free Church, 115 Carr lake Rd. SW.

September 2010

Sept. 17—Oompah for the Arts, the major fundraiser for Bemidj Area Arts Endowment at the Town and Country Club.

Sept. 24–7 p.m. Desserts by Design, a fundraiser for the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra sponsored by the Orchestra Guild.

Sept. 25–Billy Collins, former Poet Laurete of the U.S., evening lecure, Bemidji High School. More information to follow.

October 2010

Oct. 22-24– Bemidji-First City of the Arts Studio Cruise

Posted by: artsnews on 11/24/2009 at 2:34 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink | Edit

Tags: artsnews bemidji, bemidji concert series, bsu theater productions, calendar, fundraisers, greater grand forks symphony orchestra, paul bunyan playhouse summer season, summer stock, theater, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra,



Posted in Uncategorized

Lance Benson at Brigid’s Cross this weekend and a heads-up on the upcoming Nordic Showcase.

Wednesday, we went to Brigid’s Cross Irish Pub to see the artist for the month,Eli Balbach–well worth seeing. We also stayed for lunch–a libation and French Dip–and saw the Lance Benson posters.  He is going to be there on Saturday night (May 15) from 8 p.m. until midnight—go for a while, for the night, but go!  He is an amazingly talented young Bemidji musician and composer.  Remember the kitchen closes at midnight.

Those Sons of Norway are at it again–-A Nordic Showcase.  Take the children and the grands to a immersion in nordic culture on Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.  The NorSweDane Dancers will be there, Monte Draper will demonstrate wood carving, lefse makers, poets, music, crafts, authentic clothing.  There will be booths, exhibitions, demonstrations, stories and fellowship.  All for FREE, that’s right, FREE!! 

A top handbell ensemble, the Strikepoint, will appear at Bangsberg Recital Hall at 7 p.m.,Saturday, May 22—more to come on this group but want to get a "mark your calendar" in first.

Al Belleveau is busily installing new pieces for the Bemidji Sculpture Walk—thanks Al and the board of the Sculpture Walk Committee for your work in making Bemidji, "First City of the Arts."  The public art is what sold us on locating to Bemidji. 

Back home in Bemidji, Toastmasters, Italian Opera Gala and Kevin Kling.


A miracle happened on Monday—we arrived at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport with 15 minutes until take-off of the Bemidji flight. It was a miracle because we ran, were the last two passengers on the plane and made it home in time to pick up our mail and rescue the “kids” at the vets. Mookie, Too had major surgery on his left leg to repair a ruptured ACL ligament—and he seems to be doing fine. Thanks Dr. Thorsgard! Thanks for the comments, you gals—very much appreciated. Was an “honored guest” at the Toastmaster’s meeting today and heard John Eggers give an enthusiastic speech with a capella singing and 50’s tunes to “drive home” his points. They meet every Tuesday at noon in Lueken’s Village Foods North meeting room—worth a visit.

In case you haven’t heard yet, Fulton Gallagher is planning another Opera Night Gala featuring Italian Opera and Italian cuisine on Friday, June 4 and Saturday, June 5. The summer galas are usually held at Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge and they are truly romantic. This year, the music will be performed by 18 vocalists and a small instrumental group. Although named Opera Night, some of the music includes show tunes. The music is interspersed with five courses starting with a salad, soup, lemon sorbet (to cleanse the palate) and main entrée. We have never been disappointed with the food or the entertainment. Tickets are $60 each with the proceeds going to the performers and future opera programs. Contact Fulton at 586-2536 or Seating is limited so get your reservation in early.

Sometime during the upcoming week, an interview with Kevin Kling will be done. If anyone who listens to him on “All Things Considered” MPR would like the answer to a specific question, leave it as a comment at the end of this column and I promise to ask him and give the answer in the feature article. Tickets are being sold now for his presentation next Thursday (May 20) at the opening of the 60th season of the Paul Bunyan Playhouse. Thanks again for checking out this blog.  


just checking in folks—

I just spent the better part of an hour writing this blog and then lost it—so will just say that it’s going to be in the 80’s today and the sun is shining brightly, the flowering trees are delightful and we are enjoying our trip back home (NYC).  Don’t forget about the Bemidji Chorale Concert on Sunday—hmmm, strawberry topping on the ice cream.  You’ll enjoy seeing those young string players "sawing" away at tomorrow’s Schoolcraft learning Center spring concert -even if you don’t have a child in the show, it’s still fun to see and hear.  We will miss First Friday openings—sorry to miss your reception, Marlon, at Wild Hare but will see the show sometime during the month of May. There is still another day or so to see the Talley Exhibit–check it out!!    The traditional Celtic band at Brigid’s Cross Irish Pub this weekend is another "must see and hear."  Enjoy all the activities planned for this weekend in Bemidji and Happy Mother’s Day.

Posted in Uncategorized