Upcoming Swede Hollow Events

14th Annual
"Watch the Glow of the Setting Sun
on the Red Brick Brewery"
and cookout

Friday, September 21, 2018
Starting around 6:30 pm
14th Annual Watch the Glow flyer
See photos from previous "Watch the Glows"

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

Saturday, September 29, 2018
3 pm in Swede Hollow Park
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 MN 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.  Picnic Operetta regulars Maggie Lofboom (King Arthur, Escape from Alcina’s Island) and Isaac Bont (Donald Giovanni and Philemon and Baucis) play the roles of Mrs. Page and Falstaff at alternating performances.

Ensemble members this year include Joni Griffith, Leif Hove, Maya Avila, Jackson Calhoun, Alia Jeraj, Jacob Miller, Akiko Ostlund, Nora Ricky, and Jesse Pollack-Foote. Musicians include Gary Ruschman, Drew Kellum, Avery Wong, and Luke Pickman.


Mixed Precipitation blends sweet and savory bites into the storytelling to celebrate the harvest. Chefs Nora Rickey and Natalie Vandenburgh of the Good Acre will craft a tasting menu adapted to the story, inviting the audience to taste the edible beauty of the Minnesota harvest.


Reservations are available on Brown Paper Tickets for most performances. Please call 1-800-838-3006. For Memorial Park in Red Wing, Unity Park in Winona, Dream Acres Farm, and the Carleton Arboretum ticketing is handled by our presenting partners. See the links above. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged. The suggested donation is $10 – 20 per person. Donations are a critical source of funding for The Picnic Operetta and can be made with your reservation or collected at the performance. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. We provide blankets, bug spray, and sunscreen for our audience, but patrons are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and water.


We are prepared to provide reasonable accommodation to patrons with physical disabilities and those using access services. Our performance is designed for an outdoor garden venue. A sighted guide is suggested for visually impaired patrons.

Accessibility information for each site is available here

Please call Audience Services Lead Alia Jeraj (651-485-2283) for access accommodations for each unique venue.

Visit the Mixed Precipitation Dr. Falstaff website for more information.

Last Update: September 16, 2018