Ludington Area Center for the Arts
Ludington Area Center for the Arts
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40 years after its debut, North Country Opera returns for an October tour of Michigan, performance at LACA 

Forty years after its first performance, The North Country Opera returns to the stage this October with a six-date tour of Michigan including a performance at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA) Friday, Oct. 14.

With a few twists on the original script, even long-time fans of the musical will get a fresh take on the much-loved production.


The North Country Opera is a folk musical by renowned Michigan playwright, songwriter and Ludington native, Jay Stielstra. Set in the Buckhorn Bar in northern Michigan, the North Country Opera is the north country’s own version of a timeless love story: a young man falls in love with the beauty of the northern woods and rivers – and the woman he meets there. After leaving for the big city to pursue bigger and better things, he realizes how much he misses the two loves he left behind.


Tickets for the LACA performance of the North Country Opera at just $20 in advance and $25 at the door and can be purchased online at www.ludingtonartscenter.org or in the LACA gift shop during normal business hours. This is a general admission seating event and doors for the event will open at 630 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. show. Refreshments, including a cash bar, water and popcorn will be available for purchase prior to the show as well as during intermission.


The North Country Opera has been produced more than any other of Stielstra’s plays. It premiered in 1982 as the second play ever produced at the original Performance Network in Ann Arbor. Since then, it has been revived in 1992, 1993, and 2003 in Ann Arbor, and has toured across Northern Michigan: Petosky, Mackinaw Island, Escanaba, Frankfurt, and Cheboygan. A sequel, North Country Opera Continued, premiered at the Ark in 2003 to rave reviews.


The play is a loving tribute to the people and culture of northern Michigan: fishing for trout in the cold rivers, hunting for birds in the autumn woods, snowmobiling in the winter. And of course, the comradery and wit of local characters found in a favorite tavern.

The North Country Opera features an all-star cast and crew including Ron Miller, who directed several of the earlier productions of both North Country Opera and North Country Opera Continued, returns to direct the 40th anniversary North Country Opera 2022 revival.


Along with the classic North Country Opera storyline, North Country Opera 2022 includes a collection of Stielstra’s most memorable folk songs – including ‘I Love Two Rivers,’ ‘Heaven for Me,’ ‘The Boats Came in to Ludington’ and more – all performed by a cast of Michigan musical and theater luminaries: starring Rochelle Clark and Brad Phillips with Chris Buhalis, Kristi Davis, Peter Knox, Christina McMullen, David Menefee, and Italy-based artist Aaron Stielstra. The Buckhorn Bar Band features Music Director Judy Banker with Michigan music favorites David Roof, Grant Flick and Ben Willis.

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