Sunday, September 17, 2017 • 3 p.m.


Unity Park
860 Parks Ave.
Winona, MN 55987


FREE! Reservations are not required for this free event, but we encourage you to RSVP on our Facebook event to help us anticipate crowd size.

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Off the Page: The Rose Ensemble

Mixed Precipitation presents:

Philemon and Baucis — Planet in Peril

A Picnic Operetta

It’s glam rock-meets-opera, with a taste of local harvests. Philemon and Baucis – Planet in Peril explores fear, displacement, and hospitality to strangers from another world. This space-age, romantic adventure features the beloved melodies of Haydn’s The Creation and Philemon and Baucis, and the defiant rock n’ roll of Queen! During the performance, you’ll be treated to a tasting menu inspired by the show and made with produce from Dream Acres farm.

Returning from space exploration in a far off galaxy, space cadets Jupiter and Mercury return to earth to find humanity decimated by plague. Surviving citizens are cold, suspicious, and hooked on banality. Our gods-in-disguise prowl about town looking for someplace to unveil their gender-bending extravaganza. No one will give these gods a chance but the down-trodden tavern of Philemon and Baucis.

Bring your blankets and chairs for this family-friendly, no-tuxes-required take on opera!

Learn more about Mixed Precipitation and the Picnic Operetta »

Frequently Asked Questions

Opera??? How will I know what’s going on? 
The Picnic Operetta team enjoys finding creative, low-tech ways to share translations of any German elements of the production. And we have a feeling you may already know the words to your favorite Queen songs!

You can also join us for an artist talk with some of the company on Sept. 14 at 12:15. Learn more here.

What’s on the menu? 
Chef Nick Schneider has created a seasonal menu of small bites inspired by the production. Ingredient and allergen information will be made available at the performance. You may even be able to snag some of the recipes to take home with you!

What should I bring?
We’ll have a few blankets available, but feel free to bring your own picnic blanket or opera-watching chairs. Food will be distributed democratically throughout the show, so if you have a larger appetite, feel free to bring your own picnic as well. We won’t be selling any concessions, so do bring water and other drinks or snacks you may want to enjoy during the show.

Where can I park?
Parking will be available at the Winona Clinic and River Hills Dental lots. Just follow the “Page Series Parking” signs. Our helpful volunteers will also be available to direct you to parking areas. Please do not park at the Winona Health manors! This parking is reserved for visitors of the manor residents.

How long is the show?
About 70 minutes.

What if I have to “go” during the show?
Accessible, portable restrooms and a hand-washing station will be available at the park.

Is it kid-friendly?
Yes, the Picnic Operetta is fun for the whole family. In fact, you’ll even see some very talented youngsters in the show!

Does it cost anything? 
Nope! This Off the Page event is free and open to all. If you feel so inclined, donations to Mixed Precipitation and the Page Series are welcome.

Do I need to reserve my seats?
Seating is first come, first served, but we’d very much appreciate it if you RSVP here to help us anticipate crowd size.

What if it rains?
Meet us at the Page Theatre (700 Terrace Heights) for the show! In the event that the show is moved indoors, we’ll have notices as soon as possible on Facebook and on our Box Office Voicemail (507-457-1715).


A recent Minnesota transplant, tenor Alejandro Magallón, sings the role of Philemon following 10 seasons and 50 productions with the Houston Grand Opera. Mezzo-soprano Anna Hashizume sings the role of Baucis after playing the title role in The Rape of Lucretia at the University of Minnesota and appearing in the Ensemble of 7th House’s Rhinonsours. Also featured in the cast are many alumni of previous season, including tenor Roland Hawkins II who appeared in the first Picnic Operetta in 2009.  He’s since appeared at the Minnesota Opera and at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in Sister Act. Joni Griffith, Isaac Bont, Taylor Her, Alia Jeraj, Jacob Miller Colin Woolson and Sander Huynh-Weiss round out the Ensemble. Ginna Watson of the Rose Ensemble and will lead the band of instrumentalists. Designs will be created by costumer Morgan Lee Potter and set and prop designer Paul Herwig.

Scotty Reynolds, Producing Artistic Director

Scotty Reynolds has helmed the Picnic Operetta since inception. His active career in performing arts includes directing, performing and facilitating an ensemble of artists with disabilities at the Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts. His 2008 production with Interact, Broken Brain Summit, won an Ivey Award for its innovative concept. He’s toured as a performer and stage manager with Tiger Lion Arts and their outdoor production, Nature: A Walking Play, performing in arboretums in Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio. In 2017, we was awarded an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to develop a new music theatre piece about the history of taconite mining on the North Shore and Iron Range.

Nick Schneider, Co­-Founder and Collaborating Chef

Nick Schneider specializes in integrating culinary arts, local foods, and urban agriculture education. Following seven years with Cafe Brenda and other chef-owned restaurants, Schneider began an independent business serving as a personal chef, caterer, and educator. He is actively involved in leadership in two Minneapolis community gardens, teaches with Gardening Matters at sites across the metro, and acts as the collaborating chef for the Women’s Environmental Institute. Schneider will design the picnic operetta menu and lead volunteers in the food preparation process.

Gary Ruschman, Music Director

Gary Ruschman has been hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “funny and fresh-voiced”. A native of Kentucky, Gary Ruschman is a veteran performer, educator, visual artist, and prize-winning composer/arranger. Along with thirty stage roles and hundreds of concert appearances, the tenor has toured the globe as a member of Cantus. He has appeared with major orchestras and opera companies, played in rock bands, and presented new works and music for dance in Cincinnati, New York, California, and the Twin Cities. He maintains an active singing and conducting schedule, spending much of his offstage time composing and arranging for voices. His children’s opera, Nice Mice and Friendly Frogs was produced by Minnesota Opera in 2015.

Lizz Windnagel, Artistic Associate

Lizz Windnagel has performed with the Picnic Operetta since 2013. She performs with acclaimed early-music specialists the Rose Ensemble and vocal chamber group Artemis, touring their programming throughout the United States. She has lead music in theatrical collaborations, including Theatre Forever’s The Human Show at the Guthrie Theatre and in her own production company, Disobedient Femmes. She performed and created puppetry with Open Eye Figure Theatre, Park Square, Heart of the Beast and her own self-produced shadow puppet operas. Her production of Sing Me Naked was awarded “Best Achievement in Performance Art” by Lavender Magazine in 2016.

In-Kind Support


700 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987



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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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