Macbeth

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN Verdi was a bad boss. On the day of the final dress rehearsal of a performance of Macbeth, one of the principals complained that they had already run-through the Act I duet 150 times. “I would not say that if I were you, for within half an hour it will be…

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites

by MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN & LUCIE CHERBULIEZ Produced by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites is simply exquisite. My co-reviewer (and daughter), entranced, simply nodded when I asked her during the first story if she liked it. Known for “its innovative and visually spectacular puppetry and…

Griffelkin

by SOPHIE KERMAN Griffelkin might be a children’s opera, but the performers – a group of over 70 children in graders 4-12 – aren’t playing around. In a limited run at the Lab Theater, the opera is already nearly sold out, and for good reason. This isn’t your average high school musical: these kids have dedicated…

Arabella

by LIZ BYRON Who has a bear-fighting love interest, a crossdressing sister, a father addicted to gambling, a trio of near-identical suitors, a major case of indecision, and some seriously fancy fur coats? Arabella does. The titular character of the Richard Strauss’ opera (libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal) must fumble her way through some pretty major cases of miscommunication,…

Agent Fidelio: A Picnic Operetta

by SOPHIE KERMAN It’s August again, and that means that Scotty Reynolds, Marya Hart and the gang at Mixed Precipitation are back with another zany adaptation of a classic opera. If you’re new to the company, this is an annual tradition worth getting on board with. Each year, the company picks an opera, tweaks it to make…

Tesla

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN At the entrance to the theater hangs a sign warning that the Tesla coil to be fired during the performance is loud, but not dangerous. This caveat is a compelling prelude to an ambitious production.  Assembling the peculiar narrative and bracing eccentricities of Nikola Tesla’s life into a coherent play is…

Hamlet: $20 Tickets

The Minnesota Opera is inviting readers to purchase $20 tickets to Hamlet for tonight, March 5! Here is a link to our review, and check out the offer details below. You can also see preview videos on the MN Opera’s YouTube channel! $20 tickets* to Hamlet Tuesday, March 5 Use code blog20 Visit mnopera.org for a show synopsis and…

Hamlet

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN The bones of the story will be familiar to anyone who has taken a survey course in English literature.   Hamlet, the heir to the throne of Denmark sees the ghost of his father who demands that his son avenge his death.  The tricky thing is that, according to this ghost, the…

Circle Mirror Transformation

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN Inevitably, talking about Yellow Tree Theatre productions starts with talking about the space. Often the first thought on pulling up to the building is something like ‘is this it?’ Or ‘am I here?’ The theater lives in a lowrise line of storefronts in Osseo, welcoming but nondescript.  This first impression never…

Kid Enkidu and The Biggest Little House in the Forest

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN The two productions that constituted “Puppet Weekend” with my toddler daughter were startlingly different approaches to celebrating the natural world.  In attempting to figure how to write about the performances, I thought about Kid Enkidu’s inclusion of a bit of Walt Whitman’s poetry and the contrast between his writing and Emily…