Outdoor operetta comes to DreamAcres

PHOTO SUBMITTED Mixed Precipitation will bring a whimsical operetta about a tennis club to DreamAcres Farm near Wykoff on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The hills around DreamAcres Farm between Wykoff and Spring Valley will be the site of the whimsical “Clemency of Tito’s Tennis Club, A Picnic Operetta By Mixed Precipitation” on Saturday, Sept. 21, between 3 and 5 p.m. when the Twin Cities based Mixed Precipitation brings together classical music, food production, and storytelling into a celebration of harvest and local food assets it calls a Picnic Operetta.

Created by producing artistic director Scotty Reynolds, artistic associate Jacob Miller, music director Gary Ruschman and the Mixed Precipitation team, this late summer harvest celebration offers local flavors with picnic bites shared with the audience.

An edible opera adventure for the whole family, “A Picnic Operetta” marks its 11-year tradition of celebrating the harvest with a unique blend of music, food, and storytelling. This year’s tour also includes the Twin Cities metro and several locations around the state, including North Branch, New York Mills, Avon and Oronoco.

Mozart wrote “La Clemenza” in 1791. It premiered two months before his death at age 35. It was commissioned for the coronation of Leopold II, King of Bohemia, and upholds a clear political agenda — reinforcing the wisdom and benevolence of the aristocracy.

“Using athletic events as the site of corruption, call-outs, and cheating is a metaphor for events that test the strength of empathy and forgiveness,” Reynolds said.  “In our version, we want to wrestle with forgiveness and clemency, not as something that is handed down by those in power, but something that can come from community healing.”

This Dreamery Rural Arts Initiative sponsored performance is an adaptation of Mozart’s opera, in which a rag-tag group of players is resurrecting a defunct tennis club. But backstabbing, bitterness, and a murderous revenge plot threaten their rise to the top of Rome’s championship match. Will they find redemption before Mount Vesuvius covers them in ash? When can cheaters be forgiven? All is presented with the Picnic Operetta’s trademark style of playfulness, satire, and hope. Classic arias and duets from Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito” soar across the garden alongside new wave and synth-pop hits by Devo, Berlin, Yaz and Pat Benatar. The audience will be served some fresh edible bites as well.

A suggested admission is $10 to $15. 

Rounding out the 2019 season of pizza and Dreamery Rural Arts Initiative drama will be the Sept. 28 8 p.m. performance of “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” a one-man comedy created by David Mann about life in the suburbs, parenting and being a corporate speaker.

Suggested admission for this event is $15.  The last wood-fired pizza of the season is available 5 to 8 p.m. (or as far as the dough stretches). Go to www.dreameryruralartsinitiative.org for precise details and directions.

The Dreamery Rural Arts Initiative underscores the “culture” in agriculture with a mission to discover, harness, exercise, encourage and celebrate the creativity that abounds in rural life through the development and presentation of arts experiences in rural spaces in Fillmore County. This activity is made possible by a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council through the legislative appropriation from the voter-approved Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.