Sat, Aug 06|
White Side Park
Pickup Truck Opera Tour Volume 2: The Magic Flute - Mixed Percipitation
Mozart's 1791 opera is thrust into our modern world of teacher shortages, high burnout, and toxic positivity. The forces of light and dark attempt to control the destiny of future generations - with Mozart's fiery arias with the beats of a 90s disco!
Time & Location
Aug 06, 2022, 4:00 PM
White Side Park, Whiteside Park, 721 E Sheridan St, Ely, MN 55731, USA
About the event
Mozart's 1791 opera is thrust into our modern world of teacher shortages, high burnout, and toxic positivity. The forces of light and dark attempt to control the destiny of future generations - with Mozart's fiery arias with the beats of a 90s disco (Gwen Steffani, Bjork, Des’ree, Stereo MCs, and others). A righteous good time for all ages.
They reached an audience of over 3,000 in 2021 with their production, Pickup Truck Opera: Volume One - The Odyssey. One audience member called their production “A magnificent, heart-warming, communal art experience."
Artistic Director Scotty Reynolds and the Mixed Precipitation crew have assembled a team of new voices to present a bold version of another opera classic. “This is the 4th production we’ve created which draws inspiration from the drama of Mozart’s music and the fantastical stories in his operas. We’ll use the myths of Freemasonry and the Enlightenment to look at the conflicts of our time with joy and hopefulness.”
This futuristic telling of the opera is created by music director Gary Ruschman, playwright Francisco Benavides, and staging director Taous Khazem. Mixed Precipitation tells the story with a cast of singers, puppeteers, and instrumentalists.
Director Taous Khazem has presented her work as an actress, playwright, and director on multiple continents. The Magic Flute is her first production with Mixed Precipitation. "After seeing multiple Mixed Precipitation productions in the past, it is thrilling to work on creating it this year! I look forward to this production every year as it makes opera so accessible and fun! Mixed Precipitation does a fabulous job of fostering a collaborative atmosphere for all artists involved to create together."
Tenor Roland Hawkins plays the role of Mr. Tamino, an idealistic first-year teacher. Earlier this summer, he sang the role of Daddy Peter in Porgy and Bess at Des Moines Metro Opera. “I’m so happy to be back in the habit following a long performance break. It’s great to be in such a covid safe show! It’s an honor to be introducing so many audience members to such a classic genius (Mozart) with a story that’s fun and feels relevant to our time.”
Sopranos Corissa Bussian and Jennifer LeDoux lead the cast, sharing the role of Pamina at alternating performances. Bass Rodolfo Nieto sings the role of Sarastro, and Lizz Windnagel plays the landmark role of the Queen of the Night. Loki Embrys Graham and Nick Miller split the role of the bird-catcher Papageno, Tamino’s comic sidekick, at alternating performances. Audience favorite Joni Griffith returns playing multiple roles, including Papagena. Multi-instrumentalists Uchenna Chidozie, Joni Griffith, and Ginna Watson bring Gary Ruschman’s innovative musical arrangements to life. The design team includes scenic artist Boo McCloud, costume designer Rhiannon Fiskradatz, and puppet designs by Lizz Windnagel. Mixed Precipitation associate artist Jäc Miller plays multiple roles and leads the choreography. At selected performances, Julia Engle plays the Queen of the Night.
The Pickup Truck Opera continues Mixed Precipitation’s 14-year tradition of outdoor theater extravaganzas, touring Minnesota communities in late summer. Mixed Precipitation began this mobile format in 2020, using a blue 2011 Ford Ranger Pickup Truck and a trailer as the container and platform for the opera's action. This allowed them to reach audiences on neighborhood streets, public squares, libraries, and care facilities.
Their 2022 summer tour includes performances in sprawling parks, nature centers, and farms all over Minnesota. Audiences are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and beverages for their comfort. The performance lasts approximately 75-90 minutes. All performances are outdoors. Watch their website and social media for weather delays
About Mixed Precipitation
Mixed Precipitation’s mission is to create festive theatrical events that inspire social engagement. Since 2009 they have presented their signature events, A Picnic Operetta and Pickup Truck Opera, at community gardens, urban farms, parks, orchards, and vineyards throughout Minnesota. The company showcases musicians and theater artists with fun adaptations of operas by Mozart, Handel, Beethoven, Purcell, and many others. Their work has been presented by St. Mary’s University, Carleton College, The Sheldon Theatre of Red Wing, Historic Holmes Theater of Detroit Lakes, and community groups all over Minnesota. Their site-responsive outdoor performances have become a Minnesota summer tradition. Previous projects include the Mpls Pinter Studies, and the Winter Olympic Quadrennial salon and opera, Tonya and Nancy (2010, 2014, 2018).
This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.