To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the burning of Swede Hollow, the Saint Paul Public Library — East Side Freedom Branch, is presenting the Swede Hollow Opera.
Performances will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5, at 1105 Greenbrier Street, Saint Paul.
The opera tells the story about the events on Dec. 11, 1956 when the City of Saint Paul evicted the residents of Swede Hollow and burned their homes to the ground. Their stories, and those of earlier Swede Hollow residents, became the subject of Ann Millikan’s opera, Swede Hollow.
The libretto is a poignant story that weaves back and forth through time following the lives of Swedish, Italian, and Mexican immigrants who made their home in Swede Hollow during its 100-year history. The fictionalized characters are based on historical research and interviews with former Swede Hollow residents.
The opera’s final chorus, Dakota Land, celebrates the original inhabitants of the region with a text by Anishinabe poet Marcie R. Rendon. Centering on the theme of home — leaving home, finding home, losing home —Swede Hollow comes alive through powerful music on the land that holds its memories.
Tickets are a $10–$20 suggested donation or pay-as-able.
No one will be turned away for ability to pay. Reserve your tickets here.
Also, if for those who haven’t yet taken a stroll through Swede Hollow, it’s strongly recommended. All seasons are equally enjoyable and winter is especially picturesque for those who dabble in black and white photography.