2019 Press Release

For Immediate Release


Amy Danielson: 612.245.2020 | danielson.amy@gmail.com

Scotty Reynolds: 612.619.2112 | sreynolds@mixedprecipitation.org


Mixed Precipitation Announces
The Clemency of Tito’s Tennis Club: A Picnic Operetta

Celebrating its 11th season, the company brings an edible opera adventure to parks, farms, and gardens throughout MN in August and September

(Minneapolis) April 23, 2019 — Mixed Precipitation announces The Clemency of Tito’s Tennis Club: A Picnic Operetta, a new adaptation of Mozart’s opera, La Clemenza di Tito, with high stakes sports drama, natural disasters, and ‘80s new wave music. 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. It’s fun for everyone!  

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. The Clemency of Tito’s Tennis Club: A Picnic Operetta will tour the Twin Cities metro and several locations around the state, including North Branch, New York Mills, Avon, Oronoco, and Wykoff.

In this adaptation of Mozart’s opera, 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. Our operatic athletes will serve the audience some fresh edible bites as well.

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.

This year’s production is co-directed by Scotty Reynolds and Jacob Miller, with music director Gary Ruschman. Reynolds states, “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. 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.”  

Cast and Artistic Team

Mezzo-Soprano Anna Hashizume returns to take on the role of Sesto. Tenor Jim Ahrens plays the title role, having appeared in five Mixed Precipitation productions since 2012, including title roles in The Return of King Idomeneo, and King Arthur. Singer, actress and multi-instrumentalist Lauren Asheim sings the role of Vitellia. A three-year veteran of the Picnic Operetta Joni Griffith sings the role of Servilia.

Ensemble members this year include KT Magnolia, Chris Nolan, Mario Perez, Nora Ricky, and Gabe Salmon. Gary Ruschman leads the pit band, including Picnic Operetta veterans Ginna Watson and Luke Pickman.

Tour Dates

August 11, 2 pm (Preview)
Women’s Environmental Institute
15715 River Rd, North Branch, MN 55056

August 15, 7 pm (Opening)
Dodge Nature Center Farm Education Center
1701 Charlton Avenue, West St. Paul MN 55118

August 17, 2 pm
Upper Landing Park  (New Location for 2019!)
180 Shepard Road, St. Paul MN 55012

August 18, 2 pm
Upper Landing Park  (New Location for 2019!)
180 Shepard Road, St. Paul MN 55012

August 24, 2 pm
Skidmore Park Community Garden
1085 4th Street East, St Paul, MN 55106

August 25, 2 pm
Tony Schmidt Regional Park  (New Location for 2019!)
3500 Lake Johanna Boulevard, Arden Hills, MN 55112

August 31, 2 pm
Alexis Bailly Vineyard
18200 Kirby Ave. Hastings, MN 55033

September 1, 2 pm
Alexis Bailly Vineyard
18200 Kirby Ave. Hastings, MN 55033

September 7, 2 pm
Bronx Park Community Garden
2500 Georgia Ave. South (Nelson Park Building), St. Louis Park, 55426

September 8, 2 pm
JD Rivers’ Children’s Garden
2900 Glenwood Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55405

September 14, 2 pm
New York Mills Sculpture Park  (New Location for 2019!)
Presented by the New York Mills Cultural Center
North Broadway Avenue & U.S. 10,, New York Mills, MN 56567

September 15, 2 pm
Bakers Acres
36861 Co Rd 9, Avon, MN 56310

September 21, 3 pm
Dream Acres Farm
17289 County Road 8, Wykoff, MN, 55990

September 22, 2:30 pm
Squash Blossom Farm
7499 60th Avenue NE, Oronoco, MN 55960

September 28, 2 pm
Swede Hollow Park
657 East Beaumont St, St. Paul, MN

September 29, 2 pm
Loring Park Garden of the Seasons
1382 Willow Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408


Reservations will be available on June 1 at mixedprecipitation.org.

Please call 1-800-838-3006 or visit mixedprecipitation.org for reservations. 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 performance. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. We provide blankets, bug spray, and sunscreen for our audience, but patrons are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and water.


We are prepared to provide reasonable accommodation to patrons with physical disabilities and those using access services. Our performance is designed for an outdoor garden venue. A sighted guide is suggested for visually impaired patrons. Accessible services will be listed on our website beginning on June 15th.

Please call Audience Services Lead Anna Hashizume (763-913-7672) for parking suggestions and access accommodations for each unique venue.

About Mixed Precipitation and A Picnic Operetta

Mixed Precipitation’s mission is to create unexpected theatrical experiences through unique partnerships and festive events that inspire social engagement.

Each summer we present our signature event, A Picnic Operetta, a lively theater experience touring community gardens, urban farms, parks, orchards and vineyards throughout the Twin Cities Metro and Greater Minnesota. A five-course tasting menu of locally grown, performance-inspired delicacies is served during the show. We bring together classical music, horticulture, food, and storytelling into a celebration of the harvest and our local food system.

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.