The 2015 Picnic Operetta TOUR!

Mixed Precipitation Theater announces Escape from Alcina’s Island: A Picnic Operetta. 

This years performance is a guitar-swinging retelling of the 1735 Handel opera, Alcina, performed throughout Minnesota in August and September. An edible opera adventure for the whole family, the Picnic Operetta marks a seven-year tradition of celebrating the harvest with a unique blend of music, horticulture, food, and storytelling. This year, The Picnic Operetta is moving beyond the Twin Cities metro area to perform in farms throughout Minnesota.



Sunday, August 16, 2pm (preview)

Women’s Environmental Institute, 15715 River Rd, North Branch, MN 55056


Wednesday, August 19, 7pm (preview)

Northeast United Methodist Church, 2510 Cleveland St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418


Thursday, August 20, 7pm (opening)

Dodge Nature Center, 365 Marie Ave West, West St. Paul, MN 55118


Saturday, August 22, 4pm

Food Farm, 2612 County Road 1, Wrenshall, MN 55797


Sunday, August 23, 4pm

Falcon Heights Community Garden, 2050 Roselawn Ave W, Falcon Heights, MN 55113


Friday, August 28, 7pm

JD Rivers’ Children’s Garden, 2900 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405


Saturday, August 29, 4pm

Bakers’ Acres, 36861 Co. Rd. 9, Avon, MN 56310


Sunday, August 30, 4pm

Skidmore Park Community Garden, 1085 4th St, St. Paul, MN 55106


Saturday, September 5, 2pm

Alexis Bailly Vineyard, 18200 Kirby Ave S, Hastings, MN 55033


Sunday, September 6, 4pm

Squash Blossom Farm, 7499 60th Ave NW, Oronoco, MN 55960


Saturday, September 12, 4pm

Eat Street Community Garden, 2416 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404


Sunday, September 13, 4pm

Muriel Sahlen Arboretum , 2525 North Dale Street, Roseville, MN 55113


Saturday, September 19, 4pm

 Robbinsdale Community Garden, 4239 Halifax Ave N, Robbinsdale, MN 55422


Sunday, September 20, 4pm

Swede Hollow Park, 657 E Beaumont St, St. Paul, MN



Please call 1-800-838-3006 or visit for reservations. Reservations will be avilable on June 1. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged. The suggested donation is $10 – 20 per person. Donations are a critical source of funding for The Picnic Operetta and can be made with your reservation or collected at the end of the performance. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs.



We are prepared to provide reasonable accommodation to patrons with physical disabilities and those who require access services. Our performance is designed for an outdoor garden venue. A sighted guide is suggested for visually impaired patrons. Please call Tour and Company Manager Rachel Wandrei (617-543-5770) for parking suggestions and access to each unique venue. Find additional info about access services, ASL, captioning, and audio description at The opera is sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Directions to Women’s Environmental Institute Farm (Sat 9/6 performance)

Driving directions from the Twin Cities to Women’s Environmental Institute (15715 River Rd, North Branch, MN 55056)

These directions are intended to help drivers avoid traffic on Highway 95 and County Road 70 where there is a large snowmobiling event.
Please allow for an hour and half of driving time to and from Minneapolis  (Google Maps says its only an hour and ten minutes, but it’s best to be cautious)
There are two routes.  One via Highway 8 through Lindstrom.  One through Harris and the village of Sunrise.  Outside of Harris there is a marked detour as there is a bridge out over the Sunrise River, ignore the detour and follow these directions below.
Via Highway 8 through Lindstrom:
  • Take I35 North just past Forest Lake.  Exit on High 8 and Turn right or east.  This is the Taylor’s Falls exit.  Follow Highway 8 east to Lindstrom.
  • At the traffic light turn left on County Road 20 (North Lakes Trail) Follow County Road 20 north (it will turn east and become Furuby Road) for about 5 miles.
  •  Turn left on County Road 12 (Park Trail) .  Follow County Road 12 for just over 7 miles.
  • Then turn left at the entrance to Wild River State Park onto Reed Avenue (or County Road 81).
  • Follow Reed Avenue North for a mile and a half..  The road will turn west (left) and become River Road.   In 2.5 miles you’ll find WEI on the left side of the road.  Look for the sign on the left for the Women’s Environmental Institute and “Opera Today in the Garden”

Direction via Harris and the village of Sunrise

  • Drive north on I35 to exit 152, County Road 10 in Harris (This is approximately 24 miles north of the 35W / 35E junction in Lino Lakes).
  • Turn right onto Stark Road (County Road 10) and follow that for 1 mile east to Harris.
  • At the T intersection turn left on Forest Blvd (County Road 30 / Highway 61) and head North for about four blocks
  • Turn right onto Sunrise Road (County Road 9).  Follow Sunrise Road for about 7.5 miles.
  • Here are some detailed directions to avoid a bridge that is out crossing the Sunrise River.
  • As you approach the small town of Sunrise, look for Olson Road on your right, Turn right and head west.  Look for the first left turn, 2nd Street.  Turn left on 2nd street and head south.  2nd Street will come to a T intersection at County Road 88 / Wilcox Road.Turn left on Highway 88 and head east until you hit Sunrise Road / County Road 9.
  • Turn right and drive a quarter mile to 410th / County Road 81.
  • Turn left (east) on 410th and drive for one mile to Poor Farm Road.
  • Turn left on Poor Farm Road, follow Poor Farm Road North for just over a half a mile to a T intersection for River Road.
  • Turn right on River Road and head east.
  • Follow River Road for about 3 miles.  This is a dirt road running parallel to the St. Croix River, the Sterling Barrens State Natural Area and Wild River State Park.  There will be roads entering from the South (right) including Oriole Avenue.  Continue to follow River Road.  Look for the sign on the right for the Women’s Environmental Institute and “Opera Today in the Garden”
Stephen Mumbert as the Sherrif in "Fidelio"


2015 Sponsors

Big thanks to  these sponsors who donated funds, food, ingredients and serving supplies!

mississippi market Eastside Food Co-op HAMPDEN PARK COOP
Just Food Co-op coastal seafoods Tiny Diner
Wedge Co-op Alexis Bailly Vineyard Gardens of Eagan
MRAC VSA Minnesota twin cities opera guild
“This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.”  Legacy Logo ColorFinal city food studio


Tuesday 8/26, 7:30pm: Going Baroque … In Hollywood: A Fundraiser for the Picnic Operetta featuring violist John Scanlon

$50 for beverages and world class entertainment in an intimate setting overlooking Lake Phalen.

 CLICK here to get your ticket today

This events supports Mixed Precipitation and their performance of the Picnic Operetta, bringing together opera, food and community to celebrate the harvest.

DATE and TIME:  Tuesday August 26th, 7:30pm

LOCATION: The (former) Weequah Canoe Club  1492 East Short Drive, St. Paul 55106 (see below for directions)

A seasoned and sassy violist, John Scanlon has played in major orchestras, chamber ensembles and as a studio recording musician for over 400 major motion pictures.

The program will feature German and French Baroque repertoire by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern (1644 -1704), Arcangelo Corelli (1651 – 1713) and George Philipp Teleman (1681 – 1767) as well as contemporary works Marie Newman and film composer Miklós Rózsa.

He can be heard on the soundtracks for television programs such as Star Trek The Next Generation, The Simpsons and Family Guy. He also played for Titanic, Spider Man, Beauty and the Beast, Jurassic Park and over 400 other major motion pictures. John recorded with pop artists such as Barbra Streisand, Garth Brooks, Rod Stewart and Harry Connick, Jr. For several years John was a member of the orchestra for the Academy, Emmy and Grammy Awards. A former member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, he played frequently with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

John Scanlon


Directions to The (former) Weequah Canoe Club
1492 East Shore Drive ,St. Paul, MN 55106
If you Map Quest the directions, you will find that the general area you are headed is North of 94/Maryland Ave, East of 35E /HW 61/Arcade, South of HW36/Frost Ave. / Larpenteur Ave., and West of White Bear Ave. /English Street.

East Shore Drive runs along the East Shore of Lake Phalen. The house shares a driveway and there is no proper entrance numbered 1492. Look for an event sign and a driveway between 1484 and 1490 and take it to its end. The garage there will say 1492 East Shore Drive. Enter up the stairs to the right of the garage.

If coming from the South, the driveway is the 5th past Arlington & East Shore Drive.

If coming from the North, it is the driveway after 1530 East Shore Drive, just around a curve south of Hoyt Ave, and after you pass the house itself on the left.

The neighbors at 1484, 1490 (on the driveway) and 1510 East Shore Drive have graciously offered their parking spaces for this event. Arrive early if you want those.

A Midsummer Swig! Tuesday June 24th at 6pm


With incredible optimism and joy, we want to invite you to our annual benefit,

A Midsummer Swig!

6:00 pm Tuesday, June 16th 
Open Eye Figure Theatre, Studio and Garden!  
505 East 24th Street, Minneapolis
$40 for food, beverages, live music and summer memories! Bring friends along to celebrate theatre and joyful harvest in our community!
Buy Tickets Today!

2013 Picnic Operetta Survey


Thank you to everyone who attended the picnic operetta this summer, we hope you enjoyed the show! We are a small professional company and receive the majority of the money we need to keep this project FREE and ACCESSIBLE through donations from people like you and grants from several generous funders. Please take a few moments to help us out:

1) “Like” us on Facebook to get the inside scoop and let your friends know about the project.

2) Fill out an easy survey to tell us about yourself and your experience. It will take five minutes or less and help us make the case for future support. This survey is completely anonymous and voluntary, but makes a huge impact!

3) If you haven’t already, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Mixed Precipitation. Cash gifts are a crucial part of keeping our artists and audiences fed for this and future seasons. Visit to learn how to make a secure payment online.

We hope to see you in the garden next summer!

Mixed Precipitation team

2013 Picnic Operetta Schedule Is Here!


This 1805 opera of revolution and liberation is retold in the colorful and festive style that Picnic Operetta audiences adore.  Emerging from the garden will be secret agents, covert operations and undercover antics–all mashed-up with many musical surprises and served with a sampling menu of locally-sourced bites!


August 10th Opening at Eat Street Community Garden

2412/2416 1st Avenue South, Minneapolis

August 11th  Falcon Heights Community Garden

Cleveland Avenue & Roselawn Ave, Falcon Heights


August 16th Dodge Nature Center, Farm Education Center and Community Garden 7pm

1701 Charlton St, West St. Paul

August 17th Skidmore Park Community Garden

1085 E. 4th St Saint Paul, MN  (East 4th Street and Earl Street)

August 18th Caponi Art Park   *** 6:30 performance

1120 Diffley Road, Eagan


August 23rd JD Rivers Children’s Garden 7pm performance

2900 Glenwood Ave N, Minneapolis MN (Glenwood and North Washburn Ave.)

August 24th Loring Park Garden of the Seasons 4pm

August 25th California Street Farm 4pm

2205 California Street NE, Minneapolis


August 31st  Stone’s Throw Urban Farm 4pm

September 1st  Alexis Bailley Vineyard 4pm

18200 Kirby Avenue, Hastings


September 7th House of Hope Church 4pm

797 Summit Ave, St Paul

September 8th  Bronx Park Community Garden 4pm

2500 Georgia Avenue at Cedar Lake Bike Trail, St. Louis Park


September 14th  Women’s Environmental Institute

Farm and Orchard at Amador Hill 4pm

15715 River Road, North Branch

September 15th Swede Hollow Park 4pm

Beaumount and Drewry Lane, St. Paul

(one block from Payne Ave. and E. Minnehaha Ave.)

Picnic Operetta Seeks First Violinist, STAT!

Picnic Operetta Seeks First Violinist, STAT!

FFI please contact Marya Hart, music director

Paid Position

Performances August 8 through September 15

Mixed Precipitation’s Picnic Operetta, now in its fifth season, is seeking a first violinist.

We are open to subbing out or splitting the position, if a candidate has some conflicts with the performance schedule. In other words, IF YOU’RE INTERESTED AND CAN ONLY DO SOME OF THE PERFORMANCES, GET IN TOUCH!

This year’s production is a mash-up of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and the music of reggae legend Jimmy Cliff.

We need a player with these attributes:

Strong technique and good ensemble skills. Experience in chamber groups and theatrical experience is helpful.

Improvisatory skills, familiarity with popular music and ability to make creative adaptations.


Ability to work in a changing environment. (Performances are outdoors, in community gardens throughout the metro area.)

Good leadership and interpersonal skills.

Fun-loving people who like good food, gardens and the outdoors.

Performance schedule:

August 8th FINAL DRESS 7pm

August 9th PREVIEW 7pm

August 10th 4:00

August 11th  4:00

August 16th 7pm

August 17th 4:00

August 18th 4:00

August 23rd 7pm

August 24th 4:00

August 25th 4:00pm

August 31st 4:00

September 1st 4:00

September 7th 4:00

September 8th 4:00

September 14th 4:00

September 15th 4:00

Rehearsal schedule

Weekly, commencing June 24

No rehearsal the week of June 30

Two rehearsals week of July 28

Tech week: band joins cast for run throughs commencing ca. Aug 4