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.

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 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

It’s time for auditions!

We have posted our auditions and were excited to meet singers, actors and dancers of all ages and abilities!

For our unique adaptation of Mozart’s Idomeneo, We have a special need for classical singers and risk taking physical actors who love to work outside!

Auditions will be held MARCH 7th (5:30 to 9:00) and MARCH 10th!  (3:00 to 7:00)

More information is posted on Minnesota Playlist!

CLICK HERE to access the info.

The Return of King Idomeneo: A Picnic Operetta

Mozart’s opera with a crunchy street corner vibe.  Mixed Precipitation presents their 4th annual celebration of music in the urban ecosystem.

August 11th through Septmeber 23rd 2012

Performing in community gardens and farms throughout the metro area.


Fall projects at Patrick’s Cabaret and beyond!

The Fall Season Brings New Adventures!

Thanks to all who attended Alcina’s Island: a Picnic Operetta!  In all, we reached nearly 2500 people at our performances in 2011, many experiencing opera for the first time, many more discovering vital urban green space for the first time.  Thanks to the craftsmanship of chef Nick Schneider, nearly all in our audience tasted something new on their palate, as the music of Handel rang through the urban landscape.

We are deeply humbled by the enthusiasm that greeted us at each new community garden.  Your laughter, compliments and generous contributions help us set our sites on a delicious future for this project.

photo credits: Travis Chantar and Brooks Peterson

As the season has turned we have set our sites on new projects for the fall season.

We’ll present selections of our new work-in-progress Frequencies of Paranormal Genius at Patrick’s Cabaret.
Inspired by Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House”
and the work of spiritual channel Christine Day, the audience will co-author a
terror experience that animates Patrick’s Cabaret for its unique paranormal potential.

April Seller’s presents
The Erratics
October 21st and 22nd at 8pmPatrick’s Cabaret

3010 Minnehaha Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN

Curator April Sellers has gathered a lively mix of dancers, actors, musicians and filmmakers (including the haunting and charismatic Dan Polnau as Stromboli) to create this evening of work which will travel about the Patrick’s Cabaret firehouse.  Find out more information by clicking on the firehouse below or look at this Facebook LINK!


Also we’ll be presenting some theater and music at the Minneapolis Central Library on Saturday November 5th!  We love books!  We love literature!  We love cookies!  We’ll presenting a chapter of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at a story time and cookie decoration event in the Imagination Activity Center.  The event is family friendly.  Following the cookies, you can enjoy a screening of Walt Disney’s version of this surreal classic.  Check out more information at this link!

Alice in Wonderland: Story Time and Cookie Decoration
10:30am Saturday
November 5th 2011

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Avenue,

This event is presented in conjunction with Northrup Concert and Lectures and their presentation of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet at the Orpheum Theatre on November 12th and 13th.  Their dynamic version of Wonderland will feature music by contemporary Canadian composers, breathtaking dance and lavish glamour.  Check out more information at this link!  Thanks Northrup!

Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents
November 12th and 13th
Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis


Upcoming events to enjoy! 

Many in our company have been hard at work preparing music and pageantry  for the annual BareBones Productions Halloween puppet extravaganza.  Check out this years’ production, A Fistful of Dirt: Or How the Death Was Won, performs at Hidden Falls Park in St. Paul, October 22nd through 31st.  Check out the link here!

BareBones Productions
A Fistful of Dirt: Or How the Death Was Won
7pm October 22nd through 31st
Hidden Falls Park, St. Paul

Our fiscal agent, the Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts, is presenting a Joy: A Holiday Cabaret!  (November 18th through December 17th) at the Lab Theater in the Warehouse District.  This award winning company presents original musical theater with a mixed cast of artists with and without disabilities in a spirit of “radical inclusion”.  Mixed Precipitation’s artistic director, Scotty Reynolds, has called Interact his artistic home for seven years.  We hope you can come check out this festive show, featuring Kevin Kling and Eriq Nelson!  Check out the link here!

Interact Theater Company
Joy: A Holiday Cabaret
November 18th through December 17th
The Lab Theater, Minneapolis

Also, our Alcina, Laura Hynes Smith, is singing the wonderful role of Despina in the University Opera Theatre’s production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte at the Ted Mann Concert Hall November 17th through 20th.  Check out the link here!

University Opera Theatre
Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte
November 17th through 20th
Ted Mann Concert Hall, U of M West Bank

And everyone’s favorite “friendly lion” Paulino Brener has received a Jerome Fellowship for performance art, and he’ll be presenting a new piece at the  Pillsbury House Theatre for Naked Stages December 7th through 10th.  Check out the link here!

Naked Stages
Paulino Brener’s Don’t Cry for Me
December 7th through 10th
Pillsbury House Theatre, Minneapolis

If you are in our audience, please say hello!


And if you’re hungry…

Don’t forget the amazing sponsors who helped us make the Picnic Operetta happen.  The fresh local taste lasts all year long at these great establishments.  Stop in for a tasty bite and say hello.  Let them know you love opera… and trucker songs!


And if you want to get cozy with a trucker… 

Watermelons may be out of season, but the watermelon truck from Alcina’s Island is still a hit!  Textile artist Annabella Miller Sardelis has created a special pillow to commemorate the production.  You can find them at local boutique, I Like You and on etsy. Or you can buy directly from the artist at her studio! Click on the pillow below to find out more!

A Picnic Operetta PARTY! A Midsummer Swig August 8th!

A Midsummer Swig 2011

Come to this festive benefit supporting the 3rd annual Picnic Operetta!
August 8th, 2011 6:30 to 10:00

Wise Acre Eatery, 5401 Nicollet Avenue South,
next to Tangletown Gardens

Suggested Donation:  $25

Join us for music, food, drink and camaraderie as we toast the opening of another season presenting opera in the Urban Eco-System. The amazing chef Nick Schneider will assemble a loco-vore nosh table and we’ll feature great music by The Hummingbirds (your favorite ukulele quartet) and our singers bring down the house with a sample of music from Alcina’s Island: A Picnic Operetta

© 2011 Clare Pix Photography

Check Nick Schneider’s Menu for A Midsummer Swig!

A Selection of vegetable crudite, pickled vegetables and crostini!
The Famous Spoon River Chicken and Duck Liver Pâté
Pork Rillettes
Grilled Mediterranean vegetable platters
Chick-pea pesto salad
& Seasonal Antipasti that will be featured in Alcina’s Island: A Picnic Operetta

And a menu of refreshing signature drinks crafted by a dandy bar staff!

Your support will help us bring a free community event to community gardens throughout the metro area. Help us bring musical excellence and shared deliciousness to these amazing green spaces.


We are so excited to have Wise Acre Eatery as a partner presenting this benefit and celebrating our commitment to music, food and the joys of the Minnesota harvest.  Many thanks to owners Scott Endres and Dean Engelmann.  We hope you will stop by this beautiful restaurant, enjoy a bite, meet the friendly staff and relax on the fabulous patio.


Many Thanks to our presenting partners!

It takes a lot of people and groups to make the picnic operetta happen!  We are so glad to have the continued partnership of Gardening Matters, the Seward Co-op, the Wedge Co-op, the Lindon Hills Co-op, and The Aliveness Project!


What is Mixed Precipitation?

We are performance group dedicated to exploring text, space and form in theatrical events that create opportunities for social engagement.  We are excited about work  that bends genres and brings together communities to honor the spaces and the times that we share.  

Announcing our 2011 Picnic Operetta season!

This Alcina is rowdy and delicious!

It’s time to kick up your heels!  Yee-ha!

In our colorful re-imagining of Handel’s 1735 opera, the garden becomes a truck stop on the American highway.  Scheming sorceresses Alcina and Morgana become truck stop waitresses luring brave truckers astray.  We combine Handel’s early baroque with trucker songs and classic country.  The magic of this Island will be all the more savory, with Chef Nick Schneider’s five course sampling menu of locally sourced treats created especially for this performance.  And, of course, the glory of love and music conquers all!

Check our awesome listing of gardens for the 2011 Picnic Operetta!

We’ve added several new sites this year.  We are very excited to reach new communities and make new friends.  If you’d like to know more about any of the great gardens listed below, check out the web-site for Gardening Matters.  They have a wonderful listing of all the gardens in the metro area.  We’ll be sending more information as we get closer to our premiere.  Keep an eye on our web-site for more information!

All performances are at 4pm unless otherwise noted!

We can’t wait to sing for you in the garden!

Eat Street Community Garden (Whittier, Minneapolis)

Eat Street Community Garden (Whittier, Minneapolis)

SUNDAY August 21st
Eat Street Community Garden (Whittier, Minneapolis
SATURDAY August 27th:
Eleanor Graham Community Garden (Union Park East, St. Paul)

SUNDAY August 28th:
JD RIVERS CHILDREN’S GARDEN (Bryn Mawr, Minneapolis)

SATURDAY Sept. 3rd:
The Women’s Environmental Institute at Amador Hill
(North Branch)

SUNDAY Sept. 4th:
CDC Community Garden  (Frogtown, St. Paul)

FRIDAY Sept. 9th
7:00 at DODGE NATURE CENTER (West St. Paul)

SATURDAY Sept. 10th

SUNDAY Sept 11th
PARADICE COMMUNITY GARDEN (Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis)

FRIDAY Sept 16th
NOON for PARKING DAY in the Warehouse District

SATURDAY Sept 17th
Swede Hollow Park  (East St. Paul)

SUNDAY Sept 18th
IOC Community Garden (Burnsville)

SATURDAY Sept 24th
Bronx Park Community Garden (St. Louis Park)

SUNDAY Sept 25th
CornerCopia Student Organic Farm, U of M Campus (St. Paul)

SATURDAY October 1st
Nicollet Island Farm (Minneapolis)

This performance is made possible, in part, by Metropolitan Regional Arts Council  and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4th, 2008

Operas too Small to Fail at the Brechtacle! Feb 12th and 13th

We’ll be presenting our latest performance experiment Saturday February 12th and Sunday February 13th at the BRECHT-acle!

Mozart and the Freemasons: A Trilogy of Operas Too Small to Fail

Puppets created by Jennifer Arave and Welles Emerson create the Bavarian court.

We also perform Saturday and Sunday for the the BRECHTACL, hosted by Maren Ward and Bedlam Theater to celebrate performances of Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children by the Bricklayers of Chicago.

Join us Saturday February 12th at 10:30 or Sunday February 13th at 7:30 at the Lab Theater in the Warehouse District in Minneapolis.

The Lab Theater is located at 700 North 1st Street in Minneapolis.

The line-up of performers for the cabaret is very impressive, featuring of a host of wacky theater companies, visonary puppeteers and charming music, including Dreamland Faces and Live Action Set.

photos by Joe Sullivan

Mozart and the Freemasons:  A Trilogy of Operas Too Small to Fail

Inspired by the music and boyhood adventures of
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and John Phillip Sousa

Music Arranged by David Phillip Norris
Text by Scotty Reynolds and David Phillip Norris
Directed by Scotty Reynolds

Featuring Lauren Drasler, Meredith Cain-Nielsen, Jim Ahrens and Daniel Greco
Puppetry Created by Jennifer Arave, Welles Emerson, Ms. Scottie Hall,
Rosie Jablonsky and Andrew Csavoy

This satirical toy theatre collage made its premiere on January 20th, 2011 at the Minnesota Orchestra as a prelude to their concert presentation of The Magic Flute.  Thanks to the Crescendo project for hosting us at their pre-concert reception.