Author Topic: 1983 Potato Bugs and Cows  (Read 3667 times)

earnhardtfan4life

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1983 Potato Bugs and Cows
« on: August 20, 2011, 08:04:52 AM »
Here is an article detailing in 1983 - Potato Bugs and Cows actually got played out on an opera stage in NY:

''Potato Bugs and Cows,'' a comic opera with music and lyrics by Fred Rogers, star of the PBS television program ''MisteRogers' Neighborhood,'' is making its New York premiere. The eight characters include a sweet cow sporting a sassy pink bow on one horn and her friend and idol, the jazzy dancer Potato Bug. The story, sung in operatic style, includes a message about learning to accept yourself as you are. Barbara Zinn is director. Shows are at 11 A..M., 1:30 and 3:30 P.M., Monday through Saturday, Dec. 31. Vineyard Theater, 309 East 26th Street. Tickets, $3.50; children, $2.50. Reservations: 683-0696.

Mike

OperaLover

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Re: 1983 Potato Bugs and Cows
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2011, 08:43:05 AM »
Where's the Doctor when you need him???

Paul

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Re: 1983 Potato Bugs and Cows
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2011, 11:46:03 AM »
I believe Spoon Mountain was produced on stage also.

Eric S

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Re: 1983 Potato Bugs and Cows
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 03:04:02 AM »
Wow! I assume the cast of MRN were the performers. Neat!

bka

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Re: 1983 Potato Bugs and Cows
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 09:46:04 AM »
I had always wanted to bring the operas into the world, liberating them from the t.v., and from the idea that they could only be performed by "us". That they could be performed in small venues for children, including participatory play, and stressing that you don't need elaborate costumes or sets to do a MR opera, and by extension to make up your own opera & perform it.....I had hoped that all the operas could be performed in repertory, one a month, with perhaps the same company and the same theater....a previous attempt to mount The SNow Opera (in Detroit on a big stage, very costly) had been tried, but I felt it belonged in smaller venues, less an extravaganza than an intimate, encouraging experience.so I gathered a group of various theater-manager people and showed them several of the operas on VHS tape. The Vineyard Theater, then in a tiny space that had belonged to a dry cleaner previously. managed by Barbara Zinn Krieger and assisted by Doug Abel, decided they were interested. We considered having children perform the operas, but finally decided to audition actor/singers, and Joan Mazonelli was the very good director. As I remember we did both Potato Bugs & Cows and ....can't remember the other, but it was not Spoon Moujntain. Barbara Zinn Krieger was so inspired by the operas, that she wrote a little prelude piece (as the operas were only 20 minutes long). Unbeknownst to me, this did not sit well with Fred, and unbeknownst to me, they withdrew permission to perform Fred's operas. Imagine myy surprise when I approached Barbara and Doug and they were hostile to me. I had no idea why, until they told me that permission had been revoked.  I was devastated, and felt so disrespected to have been left out of Fred's decision, without even the chance too make things right.  I have tried over the years to interest film people in the operas, but my heart is essentially broken respecting what might-have-been...might-yet-be.  When I tried to suggest putting the existing soundtracks into CD form, perhaps with an accompanying book with the libretto, so children could sing along, I was told the quality was poor and there was no money to produce them, and no interest by consumers. Perhaps they will be put forth in animated form....perhaps their time has passed. As art works, I consider them to be eternal. I think they would grace an opera house as well as a music hall as well as a grade school auditorium.  40 plus years of pleading that case were in vain.  is this tmi? :0)   

bka

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Re: 1983 Potato Bugs and Cows
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 09:50:04 AM »
oh, and The Vineyard Theater is now a very Big Deal, they moved to a beautiful new venue, Doug Abel is now a Big Casting Director, and I, thanks to Fred, am blacklisted from working or being taken seriously there.  perhaps I am a bit bitter. :0)

OperaLover

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Re: 1983 Potato Bugs and Cows
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 09:55:06 AM »
Honestly, this breaks my heart to read...