Mixed Precipitation takes opera, presents it in a community garden or other green outdoor space, and serves it along with some tasty food. If there was ever a way to make opera more popular with the masses, this is it.
Their latest show is a doo-wopified version of Mozart's opera "The Return of King Idomeneo" in which young love, sacrifice, and the God Neptune all have a role to play. It's also infused with 50s doo-wop and 60s girl-groups.
Reviewers find this summer's production sweet on the ear and the tongue...
Peter Hogan as Neptune and Jim Ahrens as King Idomeneo
PHOTO: Travis Chantar
The mixture of light and dark can be troublesome in a show if the right balance is not struck. Reynolds and the company of talented performers bring it off. It helps that ancient Greek characters wear their emotions close to the surface, whether they are lovesick, joyful, or heartbroken. That makes the story good fodder for opera, where emotions are often outsized, and ripe for a bit of parody.
Performed in community gardens around the Twin Cities (and as far away as Northfield) with its dynamic cast and donation-based ticketing system, Idomeneo is nothing if not accessible. What is so refreshing about Mixed Precipitation's theatrical philosophy is that it completely throws away everything that people find unpleasant about opera (the length, the expense, the stuffy atmosphere) and keeps all of the entertaining parts.
If you're an opera buff, you'll get a big kick out of it; if you know nothing about opera, you'll get a big kick out of it--a smattering of rolling subtitles will keep you on track. But it's not a spoof, you understand...This is like being in a musical, rather than watching it on a screen; you'll miss some things, but the experience will be memorable.The cast dashes from one end of the garden to the other, bearing set pieces and props, and dodging the onions, taking us from shipwreck to city, to the sewers and the seashore, all the while projecting over the neighborhood's ambient sounds and keeping us firmly attached to the story--loose though the story may be.
This is a production in which the performance is even more delicious than the food. So much affection and energy is thrown into both Mozart's music and the street-corner serenades of the Jive Five and the Magnificent 4 that the blend is as smooth as the cast's impressive harmonies.
You can find the times and locations of Mixed Precipitation's performances here.
Have you seen "The Return of King Idomeneo?" If so, what's your review?
Randy Walker, 2008
Hennepin County Government Center
The McKnight Mid-Career Project Grant is designed to fill a gap in funding for artists who have already made their way through grants for emerging artists and who are looking to build their portfolio with a larger-scale public project.
Randy Walker, 2007
Brackett Park, Minneapolis
For his project, Randy Walker will partner with YouthLink, which coordinates services for homeless youth, to install a public art sculpture for the Kulture Klub collaborative, a program of Youthlink. The permanent structure will be continually renewed with temporary elements developed by Kulture Klub participants.
Woven Corncrib (night view)
Randy Walker, 2008
Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life, Falcon Heights, Minnesota
All images courtesy Forecast Public Art
Posted at 4:00 PM on August 29, 2012
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Music
Mark Mallman loves a good challenge.
The Minneapolis musician is known for his "music marathons" in which he plays for hours on end. His last marathon in 2010 lasted three days - without any breaks - and featured 576-pages of lyrics and 110 guest musicians.
Now he's looking to up the ante with "Marathon 4: Road Rogue." Mallman plans to drive across country in seven days, from New York City to Los Angeles (with an obligatory stop in Minneapolis), playing music all the while.
This time he's going to allow himself some sleep (thank goodness!), but the song will continue through the night as his heart rate and brainwaves control his synthesizer.
The entire, 150-plus hour event will be broadcast on his website.