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!


Gala: Summon the Heroes
6:00PM, Friday, July 26, 2024
8:00PM, Friday, July 26, 2024
On July 26 the world's best athletes will gather in Paris for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. That same night we celebrate the opening ceremonies of our 16th annual season, featuring 250 of the world's best classical musicians. This is the moment that will empower the next step of LAMF’s journey! LAMF’s annual gala and largest fundraiser of the year will feature Christian Reif conducting the LAMF Orchestra in iconic fanfares and daring musical adventures by superstar composers, including John Williams and Leonard Bernstein.
Beethoven's Ninth
3:00PM, Sunday, July 28, 2024
The season begins with our most epic and joyful journey yet, in a single performance of Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony. Christian Reif conducts the Orchestra in collaboration with a chorus of singers from the Legacy Chorale of Greater Minnesota, Brainerd High School, and the acclaimed Minneapolis-based choral ensemble, VocalEssence singing the powerful "Ode to Joy".
Storms, Shipwrecks & Sorcery
7:30PM, Wednesday, July 31, 2024

Storms, Shipwrecks, and Sorcery is a fantastical journey through some of the most dramatic music of the 17th and 18th centuries. This program evokes both literal storms and clouds of rage. Guest soprano Nola Richardson stunningly portrays two sorceresses scorned, both the anguished Armida from Handel’s Armida Abbandonata and the vengeful Médée, namesake of Clérambault’s …

A Night at the Opera
7:30PM, Friday, August 2, 2024

Whether you are a lifelong opera fan or just stepping into this world for the very first time, this is your chance to experience opera’s greatest moments all in one concert, featuring our cast of Resident Artists and the LAMF Symphony Orchestra. Our Resident Artist Program provides singers early in their careers with mentorship and performance …

Thrills & Superheroes
3:00PM, Sunday, August 4, 2024

Enjoyable for kids of all ages! With the powers of winds, strings, brass, and percussion combined, the ultimate superhero of the stage is formed! In this family-friendly concert narrated by Jeff Andrews and featuring music and story by Russell Peck, kids of all ages will embark on a spectacular journey through the dynamic forces, instruments, and …

The Rake's Progress
7:30PM, Saturday, August 10, 2024
3:00PM, Sunday, August 11, 2024
Opera director Omer Ben Seadia and music director Christian Reif lead an all-star cast in an exquisite production of Igor Stravinsky’s delightfully clever opera, The Rake’s Progress. The story concerns the decline and fall of Tom Rakewell, who deserts his rural country town and girlfriend Anne Trulove for the seductive delights of London.
Jackiw Plays Dvořák
7:30PM, Wednesday, August 14, 2024

In a deeply moving new work, American composer Leanna Primiani centers the heroic stories of the survivors of human trafficking, painting a sonic landscape that emerges from tragic darkness into hope and light, and awakening our understanding of this tragic issue. Stefan Jackiw, a virtuosic musician with “talent that’s off the scale” (The Washington Post) …

A Hero's Life
7:30PM, Saturday, August 17, 2024
3:00PM, Sunday, August 18, 2024

The unrivaled brilliance of Gustav Holst’s Jupiter from The Planets sets the stage for the 2024 Lakes Area Music Festival’s closing ceremony. As the U.S. premiere of Lil Lacy’s Aurora honors new beginnings and the opportunities of a new day, Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) tells the ultimate story of adventure and accomplishment. …


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.

  BSKK The Depot Stores Corner Store - Mid-town - Wild Rice