The MET Operas remaining 2017-2018 season (Time Changes)

Join us for the remaining Operas in the MET’s 2017-2018 Season of live HD movie theatre transitions.

La Bohème-Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 12:30 pm
The world’s most popular opera returns in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production starring a cast of young stars, including Sonya Yoncheva as the fragile Mimì and Michael Fabiano as the poet Rodolfo. Marco Armiliato conducts.

Semiramide-Saturday, March 10, 2018 @ 12:55 pm
This masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks makes a rare Met appearance—its first in nearly 25 years—with Maurizio Benini on the podium. The all-star bel canto cast features Angela Meade in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon, who squares off in breathtaking duets with Arsace, a trouser role sung by Elizabeth DeShong. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Ryan Speedo Green complete the stellar cast.

Così fan tutte (New Production)-Saturday, March 31, 2018 @ 12:55 pm
A winning cast comes together for Phelim McDermott’s clever vision of Mozart’s comedy about the sexes, set in a carnival-esque environment inspired by 1950s Coney Island. Manipulating the action are the Don Alfonso of Christopher Maltman and the Despina of Tony Award–winner Kelli O’Hara, with Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Ben Bliss, and Adam Plachetka as the pairs of young lovers who test each other’s faithfulness. David Robertson conducts.

Luisa Miller-Saturday, April 14, 2018 @ 12:30 pm
James Levine and Plácido Domingo add yet another chapter to their legendary Met collaboration with this rarely performed Verdi gem, a heart-wrenching tragedy of fatherly love. Sonya Yoncheva sings the title role opposite Piotr Beczała in the first Met performances of the opera in more than ten years.

Cendrillon (New Production)-Saturday, April 28, 2018 @ 12:55 pm
For the first time ever, Massenet’s sumptuous take on the Cinderella story comes to the Met. Joyce DiDonato stars in the title role, with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of Prince Charming, Kathleen Kim as the Fairy Godmother, and Stephanie Blythe as the imperious Madame de la Haltière. Bertrand de Billy conducts Laurent Pelly’s imaginative storybook production.

MET opera L’elisir d’Amore time changed to NOON.

The next MET opera in the series, L’elisir d’Amore scheduled for Saturday, February 10th will start at Twelve o’clock.  Please be prepared to come earlier to enjoy this romantic comedy with us. 

“Bill that would benefit Ramsdell Theatre moves forward”

“Bill that would benefit Ramsdell Theatre moves forward”
House Bill 4411 passed through the Regulatory Reform Committee and now heads to the Senate floor.  Representative Vanderwall believes the bill could be voted on by Thursday and if everything goes right, by the end of February the Ramsdell would have the opportunity to purchase a license to help with the goal of becoming “self-sustaining”.  

The Ramsdell would like to express our gratitude to Representative Vanderwall for his support on this bill.

To read more on the article, written by Michelle Graves (Manistee News Advocate) refer to Thursday, January 25, 2018, news article. 

The RRCA raises over $65,000 to support the 18-19 season!

The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts (RRCA) held a reception yesterday in Hardy Hall to announce the results of their year-end campaign. In their first attempt to launch an extraordinary matching challenge campaign, the RRCA proudly raised over $40,000! An anonymous donor will meet the $25,000 matching grant that was promised, bringing the total to over $65,000!

The RRCA campaigned to raise funds to support their 2018-2019 season to continue offering diverse and high-quality programming for its community. “It is a great start to the new year! We knew it would be hard work to launch a campaign like this, but I knew we could do it!” said the executive director, Xavier Verna. “Gifts like these are what help our mission and vision thrive in this community. Heartfelt thanks to all of our donors for having so much faith in the RRCA.”

The community came together to the special reception to celebrate the news including board members, volunteers, and donors. “Contributors have sent a clear message as to how important the Ramsdell is in people’s lives here in our community. The board is committed to using these funds wisely and will continue to guarantee quality programming, entertainment, and educational opportunities.” Added Sarah Helge, the President of the Center’s board. A portion of the donations will go toward supporting the RRCA’s endowment at the Manistee County Community Foundation. The endowment supports future interior and restoration maintenance for the historic Ramsdell Theatre. The board will decide what percentage of those funds will be by the end of the fiscal year.

Verna noted that upcoming events include the MET Opera series on Saturday, January 27 at 1 pm, with “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini and with refreshments sponsored by the Yellow Dog Café in Onekama. He added that “Tosca” promises to be an outstanding opera. The MET Opera returns on Saturday, February 10 at 1 pm (“L’elisir D’Amore” by Gaetano Donizetti) and Saturday, February 24 at 1 pm (“La Boheme” by Giacomo Puccini).

On Friday, March 16, Irish Night returns to the Ramsdell, which Verna noted was exceptionally successful in 2017. Plans for the evening include food by Iron Works Café starting at 5:30 pm featuring Celtic music starting at 7 pm. Verna said over 125 attended the premiere event last year and he’s predicting another festive time this year to celebrate the Irish holiday.

RRCA Welcomes Laura Ortiz!

I come to you with a passion for the arts
and community collaboration.

I look forward to seeing you  at
The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts!”
– Laura Ortiz, Administrative Assistant

“We are thrilled to have Laura on our team! She comes with a strong background in business and community relations.
I look forward to strengthening our community partnerships!”

– Xavier Verna, Executive Director

Laura Ortiz has joined the staff at the  Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts as Administrative Assistant. Laura graduated from Maranatha University in Watertown Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in Education.  After teaching Special Education and 7th grade Science for many years, Laura left to pursue a position in retail management for several companies the last being Operational Manager for Old Navy.

In 2005, Laura joined the team at Hastings Public Library.  In the 12 years of Laura’s tenure, she served in many capacities, one being Theatre Coach for the “tween” Royal Readers Theatre.  Students ranged from grades 3rd -8th and would perform every year in the Spring.  Most students continued their theatre studies with the Thornapple Arts Players Children’s theatre.

Laura’s last 2 years at the library she served as Library Director while working on her Masters at Wayne State University. As Director, Laura pursued community partnerships.  Serving on the Hastings Downtown Business Team as Partnership Chair, Rotary Club, Co-Chair of the Rotary Christmas Parade and Partnered with the Hastings Jingle & Mingle Committee.  Using the training she had received through the Harwood Institute on Community development Laura hosted a series of community engagement roundtable talks which provided feedback on what the community wanted, expected and were willing to do for their community.

Laura and her partner Tom have purchased a home in Manistee and are excited about their new community.  Laura loves to read, create beautiful handmade gifts and explore.

Miss Michigan to Perform on the Ramsdell Stage!

We are honored to be graced with Miss Michigan’s presence during this year’s Sleighbell parade! In addition, Miss Michigan, Heather Kendrick, will also perform her winning talent tribute to Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ on Saturday, December 2 at 7:30pm. A Tuneful Christmas Carol will open on Thursday, November 30, at 7:30pm. At the top of each show, the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts (RRCA) will feature short acts on the Ramsdell stage. We are excited to welcome Miss Michigan for her premier performance on our stage!

“As Miss Michigan, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend a December weekend in Manistee and especially, to collaborate with the RRCA at the historic Ramsdell theatre, which has been over a century-long pillar for the arts in northern Michigan. I’ll be bringing my Miss America talent to the stage, an electro-pop violin tribute to Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance,’ and look forward to meeting, speaking with and taking many photos with this great community!” said Heather Kendrick, Miss Michigan.

Tickets to A tuneful Christmas Carol are on sale now! Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 1-800-836-0717. Concessions will be sold one hour before
each show.

Outreach at the Ramsdell

2 days and 500 reached!!

We invited the Akropolis Reed Quintet to visit schools in Traverse City, Ludington, and welcomed students from Bear Lake, Onekama, and Manistee to the Ramsdell!

Challenge Grant of $25,000


A $25,000 challenge grant has been offered to the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts to be used as part of its year-end contribution requests. If the RRCA can raise $25,000 through individual contributions and business sponsorships, then a grant offered by individual supporters of the Ramsdell will match the amount, totaling $50,000. This grant will allow the RRCA to continue the momentum that 2017 has seen in booking high-quality live-music, dance, and theater shows, continuing the free summer Tuesday Talks, Tunes, and Tours, being able to offer more workshops, classes, and lectures, and in attracting visual artists for more exhibits in Hardy Hall.

If you wish to be part of this important endeavor, go to the RRCA website and click “make a donation,” or mail a contribution to the RRCA, 101 Maple Street, Manistee, MI 49660, or call Xavier 231 398-9770.

Fiber Arts Exhibit

The Lakeside Club of Manistee and the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts will present a Fiber Arts Exhibition in the Assembly Hall (ballroom) of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts on Saturday, November 18, from 10:00 am until 12:30 pm and on Sunday, November 19th, from 1:00 until
4:00 pm. A Fall Tea will take place on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 also in the ballroom, with a viewing of the exhibit to begin at 1:00. Both exhibit and tea are open to the public.

This one-time exhibit will include spinning, weaving, rug-hooking, quilting, sewing, knitting and needle arts, along with other fiber arts. The Lakeside Club is currently looking for exhibitors. Anyone interested in exhibiting can do so by downloading the application at and click on “Fiber Arts Exhibitor App.” You may also pick one up at the Ramsdell during office hours. Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri from 10am – 5pm. Closed on Wednesdays and weekends.

There is a $10 cost for a table to the exhibitors, with set-up on Friday and tear-down on Sunday. During Sunday’s exhibit hours, exhibitors are also able to do hands-on demonstrations of their art or hold small classes for attendees to learn how to make their particular craft or art. The Fiber Artists also have the opportunity to sell their art at this event.

Tickets for the exhibit ($5) are available at the door during open times of the exhibit. Reservations and tickets for the tea ($15) on Saturday are available by calling 723- 4395. A delicious three-course tea will be served, and each table will be decorated by members of the Lakeside Club and others displaying their own artistic talents. Proceeds from this event will be added to the 2018 Lakeside Club Hometour and then granted to area nonprofits.

Honoring our WWI Veterans

Honoring our WWI Veterans

This Veterans Day, come to the Ramsdell Theatre and honor our veterans. The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts (RRCA) presents “Honoring our WWI Veterans,” a live concert by the River Raisin Ragtime Revue (R4), Michigan’s premier ragtime orchestra. In partnership with the Arts & Culture Alliance of Manistee County, the event will coincide with a WWI exhibit that reflects this period. The event is on Saturday, November 11 and starts at 4pm with the exhibit, and 7pm with live music.

Thanks to our local museums, we have items, memorabilia, even uniforms that were collected and are being showcased at the Ramsdell. “The launch of this show is significant to our community. I’m so grateful for the arts & cultural alliance group for making this a reality,” said Xavier Verna, executive director of the RRCA. “The River Raisin Ragtime Revue, with a premiere at the Ramsdell Theatre, will play wonderful music for our veterans.”

R4 is a professional theater orchestra dedicated to educating and entertaining via the performance, preservation, and restoration of significant American music. R4 highlights the development of our country’s original popular musical style – ragtime. R4 Co-Founder and Executive Director William Pemberton says “the concert is a tribute to all of our veterans on Veterans Day, and will include a special Armed Forces Salute, where veterans in attendance will be recognized for their service. The program also commemorates the 100th year anniversary of America’s entry into WWI, with ragtime and patriotic songs of that period.”

Tickets are on sale now through Call 1-800-836-0717. Merchandise by the River Raisin Ragtime Revue will be sold at the event. Concessions will also be sold at 6pm and during intermission.

R4 is represented by Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates, Ann Arbor, MI.