2023 Season: Bel Canto

The 15th annual season of the Lakes Area Music Festival will feature 200 artists from the top orchestras and opera companies nationwide. For one month this exceptional roster will make the Lakes Area of central Minnesota their musical home, performing chamber music, orchestra, and opera– as well as various community outreach activities extending their impact throughout the local community.

This season’s theme, BEL CANTO (“beautiful singing” in Italian), refers to a particular musical style where the beauty of the human voice—long legato lines, beautiful melodies, and dazzling acrobatics—is front and center. Our 2023 opera, Don Pasquale, is a perfect example of that genre. But there are more reasons we decided to celebrate our 15th anniversary with BEL CANTO…

Perhaps most obviously, there is more singing in this year’s festival than ever before. We open the 2023 season with an international superstar who is changing the face of classical music one song at a time—our beloved Julia Bullock—in two stunning programs. The festival’s orchestral and chamber music offerings highlight composers like Mozart, Debussy, and Caroline Shaw, whose mastery of vocal writing colors their instrumental works. We have even chosen an unusual piece for the festival finale in Shostakovich’s 15th and final symphony, which quotes music from many operas—including some you’re sure to recognize!

Nearly all activities are offered for free or with name-your-price ticketing in order to ensure access to anyone interested in attending, regardless of financial means. Ticket reservations will open in early June.

Join us this summer in Brainerd!


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Thank you to our 2023 Season Sponsors: the Aaron Copland Fund for Music; the Athwin FoundationBorden, Steinbauer, Krueger, and Knudson and the Depot Stores; the Five Wings Arts Council; the Hallett Charitable Trusts; the Mardag Foundation; the Minnesota State Arts Board; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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