Flashback Friday: Opera on a Minnesota farm in 1993

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Pigs, cows, corn and beans, all things you would expect to find on a farm. One thing you don’t expect is an opera performance. In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1993 and show you the songs that rang out on a Minnesota farm.

One man’s 15 year long dream is coming to life. The story of a Midwestern American farm family performed on a Midwestern American farm.

The music is by Aaron Copeland, but the dream belongs to Vern Sutton.

“Well, I’ve always wanted to do this out on a farm. It’s one of two opera’s I know that actually takes place on a farm.”

At each stop on the six farm tour, the company has used local talent to fill out the cast. 60 singers are set to perform in the chorus, and minor roles at the Les Kallsen farm. Among them is 10-year-old Carly Bearfield, as daughter Beth.

“It’s really fun!” “Hard work?” “Kind of, but there aren’t very many lines to memorize.”

Tonight, 40 years after writing this tribute to the family farmer, Copeland’s “The Tender Land” unfolds on farmland maid tender by weeks of rain.

“Piece really comes alive on a farm in a way it just can’t come alive in a theater. Because you got the sky and you got fields. You got the sounds of the animals. You got the birds singing in the trees.”

“All of it’s tied to the land. All of it’s tied to our rural community. We’re gonna have a celebration.”

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