On Dec. 11, 1956, the City of Saint Paul evicted the residents of Swede Hollow and burned their homes to the ground. On Nov. 4 and 5, the East Side Freedom Library is reprising an opera that captures that history.
The stories of those who lost their homes – and the stories of earlier Swede Hollow residents – became the subject of Ann Millikan’s opera, “Swede Hollow,” which weaves back and forth through time following the lives of fictionalized Swedish, Italian, and Mexican immigrants who made their home in Swede Hollow during its 100-year history.
The opera’s final chorus, “Dakota Land,” celebrates the original inhabitants of the region with a text by Anishinabe poet Marcie R. Rendon.
“Swede Hollow” premiered in 2012 in Swede Hollow Park. Because 2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the burning of Swede Hollow, the East Side Freedom Library is commemorating that history, reintroducing the opera with new material and recording the work for CD release.
Performances are at 8 p.m., Nov. 4 and 5, at the library, 1105 Greenbrier St., St. Paul. Tickets may be reserved via brownpapertickets.com. A donation of $10 – $20 ois suggested, but all are welcome and no one will be turned away for lack of funds, organizers said.