Cenrentola Act 1 Finale

Northern Lights Festival Opera


Under the guidance of Music Director Gavriel Heine, the Northern Lights Festival Opera has become the cornerstone of the Northern Lights Music Festival with fully staged performances with orchestra.

What began as an effort to involve the community in a wildly successful production of Britten’s Noyes Fludde in 2007, led to annual main stage productions of Hansel and Gretel, Carmina Burana, Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci.

In 2013, Northern Lights reached another landmark when it staged its first full-length, four-act opera, Puccini’s La Bohème.

Bizet’s Carmen followed in 2014 with Lehar’s The Merry Widow in 2015.  The next four seasons Northern Lights Festival Opera presented Madama Butterfly, Eugene Onegin, The Barber of Seville, and La Traviata featuring acclaimed soprano Cecilia Violetta López.

In 2020 Northern Lights presented the first live opera productions in the United States during the COVID pandemic.  Following closely guided health protocols Tosca was performed at The Minnesota Discovery Center  Amphitheater in Chisholm and Menotti’s The Medium at the State Theater in Ely. Both were streamed live as well.

In 2021 Northern Lights presented two versions of Rossini’s La Cerentola, a full-length version and a shortened family-friendly version performed by member of the Opera Apprentice Program. A film documenting the festival and it’s production of La Cenerentola titled “Iron Opera” was produced and televised by PSB affiliate WDSE.

2022’s production of  Mozart’s The Magic Flute was presented in two versions as well: the full-length opera and a condensed version performed by members of the Opera Apprentice Program.

To celebrate it’s 20th anniversary season, Northern Lights looked back 10 years with a brand new production of La Boheme.


Final act of La Traviata with Violetta in sick bed.
Our 2019 production of Verdi’s La traviata featured the exciting American soprano Cecilia Violetta López in her signature role of Violetta.
Allysa Marien as Cinderella

Alyssa Martin as Cinderella

Scene from Act 1 of La boheme with Mimi and Rudolfo.
Act I  La bohème with Meghan Lindsay as Mimi and
Scott Quinn as Rodolfo.
Scene from the Barber of Seville with Rosina and Figaro.
Chrystal E Willams as Rosina and Sean Anderson as Figaro in The Barber of Seville.

Final curtain call for NLMF production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.