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Play! Out of the Barn: Dr. Falstaff and the Working Wives of Lake County: A Picnic Operetta by Mixed Precipitation

Dr. Falstaff and the Working Wives of Lake County: A Picnic Operetta by Mixed Precipitation
3:00 - 5:00 pm

A new adaptation of Otto Nicolai’s German opera, The Merry Wives of Windsor, with a bit of Minnesota history and the music of Bruce Springsteen!

Celebrating its 10th season, the company brings an edible opera adventure to parks, farms and gardens throughout Minnesota in August and September


On the shores of Lake Superior, the company town is in trouble. The taconite plant has gone bust and jobs are leaving town fast. Meanwhile, the sleazy Doctor Falstaff has washed up on shore. He’s looking to sell a boat, eat some herring, and seduce some married women. Luckily, a trio of tough working gals has teamed up to chase the rat out of town. These working wives (a nurse, a park ranger, and a librarian) show the men in town who’s the Boss.

Scotty Reynolds, a native of Silver Bay, Minnesota, adapted this story following his research on Minnesota’s ecological and economic history and the landmark legal battle, United States vs. Reserve Mining.

“Our show places the silly characters of Shakespeare’s comedy alongside contemporary questions about industry, job creation, and the environmental impact of capitalism,” Reynolds says. “Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor takes place in a hunting village outside of London. Our version takes place on the North Shore of Lake Superior in a historic fishing community and mining town. Contaminated drinking water and a depleted fish population led to a decade of legal battles with fisherman, environmentalists and the mining industry. Bruce Springsteen’s classic anthems of working life and songs of love are perfect for the struggles of the time. We’ll look at the conflict of environmentalism and job creation with humor and dignity. ”

This one-of-a-kind show is directed by Kym Longhi, written by Scotty Reynolds, with music director Gary Ruschman.


Baritone Nick Miller sings the leading role of Dr. Falstaff, having previously sung the role of Leporello in our production of Donald Giovanni in Cornlandia in 2016. Picnic Operetta alumni Naomi Karstad (Mrs. Ford) Anna Hashizume (Mrs. Page) play the “working wives” pursued by Dr. Falstaff. Baritone Alex Adams-Leytes plays the jealous Mr. Ford, following previous appearances with companies in German, Austria, and Italy. In the United States he’s performed with St. Petersburg Opera Company, Gulfshore Opera, and the Pacific Opera Project.

Ensemble members this year include Phinehas Bynum, Joni Griffith, Leif Hove, Maya Alvira, Alia Jeraj, Jacob Miller, Akiko Ostlund, Nora Ricky, and Jesse Pollack-Foote. Musicians include Gary Ruschman, Drew Kellum, and Luke Hunter.


Mixed Precipitation blends sweet and savory bites into the storytelling to celebrate the harvest. Chef Kyual Cribben, formerly of Tilia Mpls, 112 Eatery, and Burch Steakhouse, crafts a tasting menu adapted to the story, inviting the audience to taste the edible beauty of the Minnesota harvest.


Suggested ticket price $15. Call 507.352.4255 to reserve tickets.


Mixed Precipitation is a performance company exploring text, space and form with festive theatrical events that inspire social engagement.

Each summer we present our signature event, the picnic operetta, a lively theater experience touring to community gardens and other green spaces throughout the Twin Cities metro. 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 urban eco-system.

Earlier Event: September 21
Pizza on the Farm