7 outdoor classical music performances to see in the


Considering how frequently classical composers were inspired by the sounds and sensations of nature, why coop up their music in concert halls and churches? Some green space seems a far better setting, perhaps beside some flowing river or windswept lake.

You’ll find several such opportunities before the Twin Cities summer ends, be the presentation orchestral or operatic. Here are seven suggested soundtracks for a warm summer evening.

Opera on the Lake

Soprano Anne Wieben is a Minnesotan who’s settled in Vienna — and into a successful singing career there. In summer, she returns home, linking up with some fine singers to present light opera alongside St. Paul’s Como Lake. This year’s semi-staged offering is a comic operetta that was all the rage in early 20th-century Vienna: Emmerich Kalman’s “Die Csárdásfürstin” or “The Csardas Princess.” (7 p.m. Fri., Sat., Tue., Thu. and Aug. 4, Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul, $35, operaonthelake.com)

Opera on the River

As the Stillwater Lift Bridge rises to allow watercraft to float through, you could have your heart lifted by some scintillating arias, passionate love duets and comical quartets from the operatic canon and musical theater. This concert’s four fine singers have been found on the stages of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Opera, Washington National Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin. A seven-piece chamber ensemble is conducted by Andrew Sun. (7 p.m. Sat., Lowell Park, 201 N. Water St., Stillwater, free, scvopera.org)

‘Romeo and Juliet’

Mixed Precipitation’s Pickup Truck Opera is always a road trip — performing at parks, farms, vineyards and nature centers up and down the state — so it’s appropriate that they’ve made a picaresque odyssey of Vincenzo Bellini’s 1830 opera, “The Capulets and the Montagues.” Shakespeare’s lovers become a pair of itinerant internet influencers who hit the highway together, with the bel canto arias complemented by a bit of Fleetwood Mac, the Fugees and the Pixies emanating from the dashboard. (Sun. through Sept. 10 at 21 venues, $5-$45, mixedprecipitation.org)

The Overdressed Duo

This soprano-keyboardist tandem demonstrates that opera doesn’t need to be grandiose to grab you. They’ll be joined by some esteemed singers Monday for “Opera Under the Stars” at Water Works Park (333 S. 1st St., Mpls.) before presenting a Friday “Tiny Lawn” concert at 3523 W. 48th St., Mpls. On Aug. 9, they’ll offer something like a condensed version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” (Wolfe Park, 3700 Monterey Drive, St. Louis Park). (All concerts at 7 p.m., free, overdressedduo.com)

Kenwood Symphony

Founded 50 years ago as a southwest Minneapolis chamber orchestra, this group has been growing to symphony size since, hiring Yuri Ivan as artistic director in 2007. He’ll conduct three pops programs that will include film music, Tchaikovsky and the brassy tones of the Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble. (7 p.m. Aug. 9, Town Green Bandshell, 7991 Main St., Maple Grove, 2 p.m. Aug. 13, Lake Harriet Band Shell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Mpls., 7 p.m. Aug. 14, Como Lakeside Pavilion, St. Paul, free, kenwoodsymphonyorchestra.org)

‘The Song Poet’

Minnesota Opera premiered Jocelyn Hagen’s opera in March, an adaptation of Kao Kalia Yang’s memoir of her father’s journey from Laos to Minnesota. If you missed it — and tickets were hard to come by — bring a lawn chair and experience it on the big screen in St. Paul’s Rice Park. (7 p.m. Aug. 11, 109 W. 4th St., St. Paul, free, ordway.org)

Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis

After 30 years at the helm of this local institution, conductor Cary John Franklin has announced that the upcoming season will be his last. Seize the opportunity to catch him in action as he leads a program of light classics. (7:30 p.m. Aug. 19, Lake Harriet Band Shell, Mpls., free, civicorchestrampls.org)

Rob Hubbard is a Twin Cities classical music writer. Reach him at wordhub@yahoo.com.

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