2022 Pickup Truck Opera Media Kit

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For Immediate Release

Scotty Reynolds: 612.619.2112 | mixedprecipitation@gmail.com

Mixed Precipitation launches a mobile operatic adventure for socially distant outdoor fun.

The Pickup Truck Opera - Volume Two: The Magic Flute
Reservations Open June 15th

When: Performances July 31st through September 12th, 2022
Where: Performances throughout the metro and Minnesota, including the North Shore, Iron Range, southeastern MN, and Viroqua, Wisconsin. 

Mixed Precipitation presents the second installment of their traveling operatic adventure. Unfolding on their pickup truck stage, this show is lively fun for all ages. 

Mozart’s 1791 opera,  Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), is thrust into modern times and a not-so-distant future. Our young heroes are early-career professionals entering essential professions with a high risk of burnout.  Young Tamino is a first-year teacher at an underfunded school, Strange Land Middle. Pamina is a mental health nurse, but she’s been highjacked by a wellness startup. Rival forces attempt to control the destiny of the eager and impressionable heroes. 

Mozart wrote this allegorical plot with his creative partner, Emanuel Schikander (playwright, theatrical producer, and comedian), to celebrate the ideals of Freemasonry. The opera premiered in Vienna just two months before his death at age 35. Artistic Director Scotty Reynolds and the Mixed Precipitation team 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, featuring Mozart’s fiery arias, epic choruses, and the groovy beats of the 90s discotheque, including Deee-lite, Pizzicato Five, Icelandic pop star Björk, and other 90s hits.  

Sopranos Corissa Bussian and Jennifer LeDoux lead the cast, sharing the role of Pamina at alternating performances. Tenor Roland Hawkins plays the role of Tamino. 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. 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. 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.”

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.  

Sunday, July 31st at 5:00 pm
at the Loppet Trailhead
1221 Theodore Wirth Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55422
Thursday, August 4th at 7:00 pm 
Cook’s Country Connection
1953 Vermilion Dr, Cook, MN 55723
Saturday, August 6th at 4:00 pm 
at Whiteside Park
721 East Sheridan St, Ely, MN 55731
Sunday, August 7th at 2:00 pm 
Early Frost Farm 
7273 Palo Tia Rd, Embarrass, MN 55732
Friday, August 12th at 7:00 pm 
Hovland Town Hall 
4957 East Highway 61, Hovland, MN 55606
Presented by the North Shore Music Association 
Saturday, August 13th at 7:00 pm
North House Folk School
500 West Highway 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Presented by the North Shore Music Association 
Sunday, August 14th at 1:00 pm
Finland Heritage Site
5653 Little Marais Rd, Finland, MN 55603
Presented by Lovin’ Lake County 
Thursday, August 18th at 7:00 pm 
North Hennepin Community College
7411 85th Avenue North, Brooklyn Park, MN, 55445
Presented by the City of Brooklyn Park 
Friday, August 19th at 6:30 
Dream Acres Farm
17289 County Road 8, Wykoff, MN, 55990
Saturday, August 20th at 3:00 pm
Peace Plaza 
1st Ave SW & 1st St SW (Street Level) Rochester, MN 55902
Presented by the Rochester Art Center and the Rochester Downtown Alliance. 
Sunday, August 21st at 5:00 pm
McIntosh Memorial Library 
205 S Rock Ave, Viroqua, WI 54665
Thursday, August 25th at 7:00 pm
Dodge Nature Center, Farm Education Center
1701 Charlton Avenue, West St. Paul, MN 55118
Friday, August 26th at 7:00 pm
Caponi Art Park 
1220 Diffley Road, Eagan, MN 55123
Saturday, August 27th at 3:00 pm 
Sunday, August 28th at 3:00 pm
Cedar Lake East Beach, “Hidden Beach”
2000 S Upton Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Presented by the Kenwood Neighborhood Association, Hidden Acoustics
Saturday, September 3rd at 2:00 pm
Alexis Bailly Vineyard
18200 Kirby Ave. Hastings, MN 55033
Sunday, September 4th at 2:00 pm
Alexis Bailly Vineyard
18200 Kirby Ave. Hastings, MN 55033
Saturday, September 11th at 3:00 pm
Swede Hollow Park
657 East Beaumont St, St. Paul, MN 55106
Sunday, September 12th at 3:00 pm
JD Rivers’ Children’s Garden
2900 Glenwood Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55405

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.