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Pickup Truck opera returns on a weekend full of events

Saturday features pickup Truck opera, Ethiopian culture and burlesque dance.

Pickup Truck Opera 01.JPG
Performers with Mixed Precipitation perform "The Odyssey" as part of the Pickup Truck Opera touring performances Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, at Squash Blossom Farm in Oronoco.
John Molseed / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — The pickup truck opera is rolling back into Rochester this year with an adaptation of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”

Each summer, Minnesota performance company Mixed Precipitation tours with an adaptation of a classic tale. The side of a pickup truck becomes a set and stage while puppets round out the ensemble.

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The Rochester Art Center is hosting the performance at 3 p.m. Saturday at Peace Plaza.

Pam Hugdahl, executive director of the art center said the event was a success last year with about 200 people attending the Pickup Truck opera’s “The Odyssey” at Mayo Park.

“They do a really captivating performance,” she said. “To experience opera and performance outside just isn’t something that happens these days; it’s kind of fun and fresh and brings you back in time as well.”

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She said holding it at Peace Plaza at a recognizable high-traffic area was made possible with help from the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Destination Medical Center. Hugdahl said holding it in the center of downtown could draw a larger walk-through crowd.

“I think people are going to be walking by and be like, ‘alright, here’s what I’m doing for the next hour,’” she said.

Registration for the show is required with a suggested donation of $25. Proceeds go to Mixed Precipitation, a nonprofit arts organization.

Ethiopian Heritage Day

The Ethiopian Community of Rochester is hosting a heritage day at Mayo Civic Center. People are invited to join the event from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. to see traditional Ethiopian dance, clothing and taste traditional food from the East African country.

The event has been an ongoing annual celebration most years since 1999, organizers said.

Burlesque on Broadway

Out Rochester is bringing Driftless area queer-centered burlesque and performance troupe Burly Bluffs to perform in downtown Rochester.

“Burlesque on Broadway” will be held at Bleu Duck Kitchen. Tickets for the event are sold out but plans are in the works to bring troupe performers back to Rochester. Doors open for the event at 7 p.m.

John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or jmolseed@postbulletin.com.
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