Performers at Bates Dance Festival in 2018. Photo by Noor Eemaan, courtesy of Bates Dance Festival

In addition to the slate of musicals and museum exhibits are a handful of annual summer arts traditions that are unique to Maine. Some are returning this year after a hiatus, and one new festival hopes to make a lasting impression.

The Bates Dance Festival, which is held each summer in Lewiston but was scaled back last year and canceled in 2020, will feature eight distinct indoor and outdoor performances beginning July 11 and running through Aug. 6.

The festival is a training group for international students and emerging artists to learn and collaborate. The full schedule of public performances in online at

Audience members take their seats before the start of the Opera Maine production ‘The Elixir of Love’ at Merrill Auditorium last July. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Opera Maine is staging two performances of Richard Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman,” on July 27 and 29 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

The opera – sung in German, with English subtitles – tells the story of a cursed ship captain who comes ashore every seven years in search of love that will set him free. The Opera Maine Orchestra will be conducted by maestro Israel Gurksy and Dona D. Vaughn directs.

Opera Maine’s studio artist program also will present performances on June 29 and July 1 of “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Philip Glass (based on the Edgar Allen Poe short story).


Robbie Harrison, left, and Michela Micalizio, members of Fenix Theatre, rehearse Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” at the bandstand in Deering Oaks last year. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The professional Fenix Theatre Company will present its annual Shakespeare in the Park at Deering Oaks in Portland. This year, the company will present “The Tempest,” directed by Stacey Koloski, from July 7-30. The performances are free.

And a new festival in June, organized by the Maine Academy of Modern Music, will bring together a wide range of art and music offerings.

Resurgam, the one-day event scheduled for June 12 at Thompson’s Point, fills the void left when the Old Port Festival was scrapped in 2019 after 46 years.

The free festival will include stages for live music and performing arts groups, space for Maine-made arts and crafts, food and a parade featuring the towering puppets of Portland’s Shoestring Theater.

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