Discover Great Music on Minnesota’s historic Iron Range.


We’re going to do our best…

To bring you great music and art in this difficult time,
Keeping you, and our artists, healthy and productive,
Helping to Keep the Iron Range economy moving, and to
Advance the cause of live music in the New Reality of the Arts in 2020,
Leading in the new technology and the new demands of producing instrumental and vocal performances.

We recognize that not all of our patrons will be able to attend the festival this summer, so we’re live streaming almost every event to give all of our patrons a chance to be a part of the festivities!

Chamber Music at B’Nai Abraham Continues
Tuesday, July 14

5:00 PM  B’Nai Abraham Cultural Center, Virginia

Brianne Ulrich, piano

Sonata No. 3 in a minor     Prokofiev
Prelude and Nocturne     Scriabin
Sonata in b minor, Op. 58    Chopin

7:00 PM  B’Nai Abraham Cultural Center, Virginia

Chihiro Tanaka, viola; Alexei Ulitin, piano

Sonata for viola da Gamba No. 3    Bach
Elegy, Op. 44        Glazunov
Sonata for viola & piano no. 2 in E flat major   Brahms

Reserve your ticket by calling or texting 218-780-2292. Call or leave your name, and number of people in your party.
If you text and we are full, we will inform you and suggest another date and time.

Puccini’s Opera, Tosca

July 17 and 19, 7:00 PM
Discovery Center Amphitheater
Opera Under the Stars!

A superb cast, including the amazing young American soprano Leah Crocetto, Metropolitan Opera stars Rafael Davila and Daniel Sutin, will be directed by the brilliant and endlessly creative Ecuadorian director Chia Patino. Conducted by Maestro Gavriel Heine of the Mariinsky Theatre , NLMF will bring you this dramatic opera, set in Latin America, exploring the timeless conflict between revolutionaries and conservative political forces.

The creative team has incorporated safeguards for artists and audience, including Plexiglas dividers between players; and a special effort to distance the stars of the opera on-stage while still telling the compelling story of Floria Tosca and her nemesis, the most repellent character in opera, Scarpia the Head of Police.

Chorus segments will have been pre-recorded to minimize aerosols on-stage, a feat of sound engineering that will be repeated by other companies in the future. For the first time, NLMF will perform at the Ampitheater at the Discovery Center in Chisholm, providing the Iron Range with the only outdoor opera in the upper Midwest! Maximum attendance will be 250 persons, socially distanced. Masks required to enter the facility.
Tosca will be live-streamed for a $10 charge.

Leah Crocetto

Leah Crocetto as
Floria Tosca

Rafael Davila

Rafael Davila as
Mario Cavaradossi

Daniel Sutin

Directed by
Chía Patiño

Gian Carlo Menotti’s Opera, The Medium

Sunday, July 26 at 4:00 PM
Monday, July 27 at 7:00 PM

venue changeEly’s Historic State Theater, Ely, MN

One of the most popular American operas, premiered in 1947 and later produced on Broadway, The Medium will be a joint project between the great Metropolitan Opera Diva Barbara Dever, and the talents of the Opera Apprentice Program. Conducted by Maestro Gavriel Heine and Directed by Dean Anthony, The Medium tells the story of Baba, the fortune-teller who begins to believe in her phantoms. Mr. Anthony is setting the opera at the present time, proving that art is perennial and fresh! This is a short opera, running time 50 minutes. 

Social Distancing; Masks required to enter the theater.

Only 70 tickets will be sold to this opera. $30

The Medium will be live-streamed for a $10 charge.

Barbara Dever as Madame Flora

Barbara Dever as
Madame Flora 

Dean Anthony

Dean Anthony
Stage Director

Chamber Music at B’nai Abraham

B’nai Abraham Cultural Center, Virginia, MN
Ongoing from July 6 to 24 

An endless smorgasbord of Mini-Bites.…short, 30-40 minute recitals, paired with an art exhibit of paintings by Ely painter Albin Zaverl, in cooperation with the St. Louis Country Historical Society.
Performances of Faculty and Young Artists in air-conditioned BA, with many mixed programs, and a series of Beethoven works in honor of his 250th Birthday.
We can only admit 30 persons to B’nai Abraham for each event, based on the Social Distancing Guidelines. Check our 2020 Schedule to view each day’s program. Multiple recitals will be scheduled each day, at 3:00, 5:00 and 7:00 p.m, allowing us to sanitize the space between events. The concerts will be repeated in rotation to allow more patrons to hear our artists. This is your chance to enjoy an almost-private concert in a beautiful space with a wonderful Steinway B piano! BA is equipped with a lift for those who need access to the Main Level.

Beethoven 250 Logo
Join us as we celebrate the 250th birthday of Beethoven with performances of his works throughout the festival.


July 4 – July 26, 2020

One of Minnesota’s largest music festivals, the Northern Lights Music Festival offers lovers of classical music three weeks of opera, chamber music and orchestra concerts presented by an international roster of guest artists, performing faculty and prize-winning young artists.


Northern Lights Young Artists Program provides private lessons, chamber music coachings and multiple performance opportunities to young pianists and string players.


Our opera apprentice program gives young singers the opportunity to train with world class vocal coaches and to perform both in our opera and in selected scene performaces.


The Northern Lights Festival Opera is the dazzling centerpiece of our season. Featuring internationally renowned singers with performances in three Range cities.
The festival is funded by the generous contributions of numerous governmental agencies,corporations and private donors, including the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, and gifts from Explore Minnesota Tourism, IBM and Minnesota Power Foundation.

Minnesota Arts Board Logo 


Minnesota Power logo

B'nai Abraham logo


Explore Minnesota logo

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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