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"Carmen" is best seller even before it opens for Minnesota Opera

Posted by: Graydon Royce Updated: April 22, 2015 - 4:11 PM
 Victoria Vargas, left, and Nora Sourouzian sing "Carmen."/ photo by Corrine Standish.

Three days before it opens, “Carmen” has become the all-time box office queen of the Minnesota Opera. The company reported Wednesday that tickets sold to date had bested the previous revenue record of $951,000 for the entire run of “The Magic Flute” in 2014.

Bizet’s iconic opera opens Saturday for nine performances over two weeks at the Ordway Center in St. Paul. Nora Sourouzian and Victoria Vargas will alternate in the title role. Tenor Rafael Davila will sing Don Jose.

“Achieving this milestone with our new production of ‘Carmen’ is an incredible way to conclude our 2014-15 season,” general director Nina Archabal said in a statement.

As usual, the Opera company says “good seats still available” although several performances have sold out. 612-333-6669 or mnopera.org

Beach Boys composer Brian Wilson biography “Love & Mercy” debuts in director Bill Pohlad’s home turf

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: April 22, 2015 - 12:51 PM

While there are no tickets left for this weekend’s sold-out public screenings, Minneapolis is hosting the Midwest double-debuts of a film worth noting. After a decade as producer of acclaimed films including Ang Lee’s "Brokeback Mountain," Robert Altman’s "A Prairie Home Companion" and Steve McQueen’s "12 Years a Slave," Minneapolis financier Bill Pohlad moved behind the camera to direct the Brian Wilson biography "Love & Mercy." The drama, starring Paul Dano and John Cusack as the legendary Beach Boys composer in parallel stages of his talented yet troubled life, has been winning scads of praise. Variety called it "a vibrant cure for the common musical biopic" thanks in part to its soundtrack filled with Wilson hits. "A deeply satisfying pop biopic whose subject’s bifurcated creative life lends itself to an unconventional structure," wrote The Hollywood Reporter. The Washington Post said "Pohlad’s extraordinary, even visionary chronicle" with "unconventionality and form-busting structure" plainly "stole the show" at September’s prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. No wonder then that Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival partnered to present it Friday and Saturday evening respectively, with Pohlad on hand to discuss it. The official opening comes June 5, but for some things, you just can’t wait.

Beth El Synagogue retraces the steps -- well, dives -- of the submarine Cousteau family

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: April 20, 2015 - 2:20 PM
Jean-Michel, Fabien and Céline Cousteau.     Photo: Beth El Synagogue

Jean-Michel, Fabien and Céline Cousteau. Photo: Beth El Synagogue

Sure, James Cameron has combined filmmaking and deep marine diving in remarkable ways. But exploring ocean worlds that few bipeds experience all began with the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the most celebrated undersea explorer of the 20th century.

For nearly 60 years, the late trailblazer and his offspring have produced and starred in underwater exploration films and TV shows promoting marine conservation and education, a legacy that is still going strong.

Now there’s a chance to encounter their accomplishments personally. On Thursday, May 7, Cousteau’s son Jean-Michel, and his children Fabien and Céline will be featured in “An Evening with the Cousteau Family,” presented at Beth El Synagogue of Saint Louis Park.

The evening includes the Cousteau family’s remarks, high quality film projection highlighting their very colorful work, and a moderated audience Q&A session. The evening features gastronomy as well as oceanography. A VIP reception with the family will include coastal fare prepared by Robert Wohlfiel, executive chef of The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Minneapolis.

The evening is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. May 7 at Beth El Synagogue, 5225 Barry St. W., Saint Louis Park. Ticketing runs from $25 to $500. For additional information about the event, visit www.besyn.org/cousteaus or call (952) 873-7300.

Deadmau5, Bassnectar & the Weeknd to headline Summer Set fest

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: April 16, 2015 - 4:30 PM

Deadmau5/ Associated Press photo

Deadmau5/ Associated Press photo

Deadmau5, Bassnectar and the Weeknd will headline the fourth annual Summer Set Music and Camping Festival Aug. 14-16 in Somerset, Wis.

The pridefully eclectic outdoor fest will feature more than 70 acts including Earl Sweatshirt, Tune-Yards,  Thievery Corporation, Lizzo, Hippo Campus, Cloud Cult, Railroad Earth, Ghostface Killah backed byBadbadnotgood and, for the fourth time, Big Gigantic.

Purity Ring, which has two shows at First Avenue in June, also is on board for Summer Set. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will perform the 1995 album “E 1999 Eternal” in its entirety at the fest.

Three-day tickets start at $149.50 plus fees; camping and parking at the Somerset Amphitheater are extra. For information, go to www.summersetfestival.com

Musgraves, McMorrow added to MN Zoo music series

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: April 14, 2015 - 1:46 AM

Kacey Musgraves/ Star Tribune photo by Brian Peterson

Kacey Musgraves (Star Tribune photo by Brian Peterson)


In the end, the Minnesota Zoo will have some fresh faces for its music series, after all.

Just added since Monday’s announcement are Kacey Musgraves, the Grammy-winning country upstart known for “Follow Your Arrow,” on July 9, and Irish bard James Vincent McMorrow on Aug. 24.

A couple of outstanding pickers – mandolin ace Ricky Skaggs and guitar hero Ry Cooder – will share the bill on July 16.

The addition of Musgraves means theSalt-n-Pepa concert at the zoo's  has been moved to July 8.

For the full lineup, see Monday’s story.

VIP box seats will go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday, standing-room tickets at 10 a.m. April 24 and all tickets at 10 a.m. April 25.

For more information, go to www.suemclean.com/zoo


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