September to bring opera to Albert Lea

Published 10:03 am Thursday, August 30, 2012

Column: Glen Parsons, Eye on the Arts

One of the most exciting things that has come along in quite a while is the live feed from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. You may have been noticing signs and posters telling about it. It’s a huge opportunity for our community. Together Albert Lea Civic Music and Albert Lea Community Theatre have partnered with The Met to broadcast live opera to Albert Lea starting this fall. There will be 12 operas for all opera buffs and those new to opera, which are sent by satellite from The Met in New York to us here in Albert Lea. They will be all be shown at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center on Saturday afternoons from October through April.

Glen Parsons

General sales begin Sept. 4 through the ACT ticket site, which is For more information go to with links to the operas and also to purchase tickets. Watch the newspaper for more details! This is truly an exciting opportunity for the city of Albert Lea and surrounding communities!

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The Albert Lea Art Center will host Eric Anfinson’s oil paintings until Sept. 15. Anfinson, formerly from Austin, now lives in Key West, Fla. He has released a 264-page full-color book of his work called “Along the Edges of Beauty.”

A reception to meet artist, Doug Holmes, is set for Sept. 4 from 5 to 7 pm. Holmes does custom woodwork using a lathe to make turned objects and bowls he calls “Turned Wooden Art.” His show will run until Sept. 30.

Currently on display at the Albert Lea Art Center is part of the Riverland Community College permanent collection, which is substantial and which many people are unaware of. Some pieces are student and faculty works, while others have been donated and purchased through the years!

On Sept. 20, Lilah Aas will present “An Evening with Mark Twain” as part of the Godtland Lecture Series at the Art Center.

On Sept. 16, from noon to 4 p.m. Autumn in the Village will take place at the Freeborn County Historical Museum & Village at 1031 Bridge Ave. It is a wonderful, informative afternoon full of food, music, demonstrations, exhibits and activities for the entire family. We are so lucky to have both the museum building (which is under construction for a new addition) and the historical village.

It will come to life as families can stroll back through time, shopping in the general store, or have an old-fashioned photo taken, or watch rope being made, or see thread and cloth being spun and woven. You can enjoy a sarsparilla or other cool refreshment and visit with others as you enjoy an autumn day in the village.

Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for students ages 2 to 18 while members and children under 11 are free. It is a great way for all of us to reconnect with our past in a fun and care-free way.

Also from the Freeborn County Historical Museum is a Historical Mystery Bus Tour on Sept. 20. These have been very popular in the past and promises to be a very fun day. The bus will be leaving the museum archway at about 8:15 a.m. and return about 4:30 p.m. Cost is $50 for FCHM members and $55 for non-members. The fee includes the bus, lunch and admissions for the day. Call the museum for more information and to make reservations at 373-8003.

On Sept. 19 Conway Twitty’s son, Michael, will play “A Tribute to Conway Twitty” at 7:30 p.m. at the Marion Boss Performing Arts Center in downtown Albert Lea. Tickets are available through the online service at Neil Lang has taken over managing the theater and bringing in all kinds of big name talent to our area.

The following night, Sept. 20, ACT will kick off their new season with a “Sneak Peek!” Audiences will see snippets from each of the four shows from the upcoming season. The evening will start at 7:30 p.m. Come and enjoy a glimpse of the laughs and songs awaiting you this season at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center!

Another great event will be the Fall Festival on Broadway on Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food vendors, artists and farmers market will add to the fun. Rides and activities for kids and families will also be available. This is becoming a fall favorite!

And finally, Albert Lea Civic Music will hold its first concert on Sept. 30 at 3 p.m. at the Albert Lea High School auditorium. The Clarinet Swing Kings will feature Dave Bennett and his septet playing classic songs made famous by Artie Shaw, Pete Fountain and Jimmy Dorsey. Season tickets can be purchased at the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau on the corner of Broadway Avenue and Clark Street. Watch for more information in the paper soon!

I hope you find lots of entertainment to enjoy in the month of September!


Glen Parsons is a member of the Albert Lea Community Theatre.