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Lakes Area Music Festival kicks off its Prelude Series Concerts

The Lux Quartet, founded in 2013, will perform in the Lakes Area Music Festival's Prelude Series Concerts Saturday-Sunday, July 14-15. Submitted Photo1 / 4
Scott Lykins, one of the Lakes Area Music Festival's founding artistic directors, will perform in the festival's Prelude Series Concerts Saturday-Sunday, July 14-15. Submitted Photo2 / 4
John Taylor Ward, one of the Lakes Area Music Festival's founding artistic directors, will perform in the festival's Prelude Series Concerts Saturday-Sunday, July 14-15. Submitted Photo3 / 4
Mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis will perform in the Lakes Area Music Festival's Prelude Series Concerts Saturday-Sunday, July 14-15. Submitted Photo4 / 4

The Lakes Area Music Festival will kick off its Prelude Series Concerts Saturday-Sunday, July 14-15.

Concerts will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Butler Opera House in Aitkin; 2 p.m. Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd; and 7 p.m. Sunday at Crosslake Lutheran Church.

The LAMF main concert series begins Aug. 4 and will be the festival's 10th anniversary season. Concerts on consecutive weekends will feature two different programs, so audience members are encouraged to attend a concert each weekend.

The events will take place at several venues in central Minnesota, and are free of charge.

The first concerts, on July 14 and 15, will feature the Twin Cities-based Lux String Quartet,

along with pianist Scott Lykins and baritone John Taylor Ward, the organization's founding

artistic directors.

The Lux String Quartet, founded in 2013, works toward making classical music more accessible, both through education and by performing in unusual venues. For example, their concert series,

"Lattes with Lux," is performed in independent coffee houses. The quartet will perform works by

Franz Joseph Haydn and Maurice Ravel. Lykins, on the piano, will be joined by members of the

quartet to perform a section of a piano trio by Felix Mendelssohn and, in anticipation of this

year's family concert, three selections from Camille Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals."

In a preview of this year's opera, baritone Ward will sing an aria from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Magic Flute." Ward also will sing a couple of Aaron Copland's Old American Songs and a song by Gustav Mahler.

Concerts on the weekend of July 21-22 will feature mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis, returning after

her LAMF debut in 2015. Levis spent the past year with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and has also

performed with the Los Angeles Opera, the Utah Opera, the Dallas Opera, the Toronto

Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony, among many others. She and Ward will sing the

delightful duet "Pa-pa-pa-pa..." from "The Magic Flute." Levis will also perform "La Dame de

Monte Carlo" by Francis Poulenc, an aria from Rossini's version of the Cinderella story, and a

selection of songs by Gustav Mahler.

Ward will sing "Bought Me a Cat" from Copland's Old American Songs and selections from "The

Southern Harmony" by William Walker. Lykins will accompany the program and perform J. S.

Bach's "Prelude and Fugue in C Minor" on the piano.

Upcoming performances in the prelude series include:

• 7 p.m. July 21, United Methodists Church in Motley.

• 2 p.m. July 22, Salem Lutheran Church in Deerwood.

• 7 p.m. July 22, Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa.

The music festival is an annual summer series attracting many leading instrumental and vocal performers. The concerts take place Aug. 4-26. All regular performances are at Tornstrom

Auditorium in Brainerd and are free of charge. In total, 53 different events will take place during

the 22 days of this year's festival season. More than 150 all-star musicians from top orchestra

and opera companies across the globe will be in the Brainerd lakes area this year as guest artists, a news release stated.

For more information visit www.lakesareamusic.org.

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