Sponsored Project


Suzanne Jurva
Suzanne Jurva

"Yoopera!"is a documentary film about a group of people who live in the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan, affectionately known as yoopers, who commissioned the top librettist and composer in Finland to produce an original opera based on a little-known murder of two Finnish mining immigrants during the early 1900s in Rockland, Michigan. To coincide with the opera's premier, community artist Mary Wright constructed "The Story Line" project, which invited people to research their immigrant ancestor and write a first-person story in that person's voice. Director Suzanne Jurva’s documentary reveals a collection of treasured American memories from people of all different backgrounds and walks of life, illuminating the joys and hardships of the immigrant experience. Set against a landscape of spectacular natural beauty marked by the rusted and broken relics of past industrial glory, "Yoopera!" attempts to capture the tensions and also the possibilities that emerge when cultural heritage is transformed into community art and performance. Yoopera! is a tale of a people who created the boom time, endured the down time, and did not give up on their place or selves.

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