Sunday, Sept. 16 • 3 p.m.


Unity Park
860 Parks Ave.
Winona, MN 55987

Special Thanks

The Picnic Operetta: Dr. Falstaff and the Working Wives of Lake County

Back by popular demand! Last season’s hit, The Picnic Operetta, returns to Winona’s Unity Park for another afternoon of music, food, and fun.

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. Based on Otto Nicolai’s German opera The Merry Wives of Windsor, a bit of Minnesota history, and the music of Bruce Springsteen, this late summer harvest celebration offers local flavors with picnic bites shared with the audience and fun for everyone.

Tickets are not required but reservations are strongly encouraged. Free will donations accepted at the performance.

Learn more about Mixed Precipitation and this year’s operetta »

“Our show places the silly characters of Shakespeare’s comedy alongside contemporary questions about industry, job creation, and the environmental impact of capitalism. 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.”

Scotty Reynolds

Mixed Precipitation

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 Springsteen songs!

What’s on the menu? 
Mixed Precipitation’s chef will create 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.

Does it cost anything? 
While there is no ticket price for this performance, donations to Mixed Precipitation and the Page Series are welcome and help make the performance accessible to all.

Do I need to reserve my seats?
Seating is first come, first served, but we’d very much appreciate it if you register here to help us anticipate crowd size and ensure we have enough food to go around.

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).


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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