Fresco Opera Theatre strives to bring the beauty of operatic music to current opera fans and also to cultivate a new generation of opera lovers by presenting opera from a modern perspective. Fresco's purpose is to present opera in a fresh accessible way by producing creative versions of operas, new works, themed concerts, scene programs, condensed versions of larger works, and fully staged productions.
We create and provide programs that both enrich the operatic experience and encourage future generations of artists and audiences.
The Radio Wranglers hail from Wisconsin and are heavily influenced by the sounds of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s with influences ranging from Country and Western, Western Swing, and Honky Tonk. The band has had the pleasure of playing at Opryland in Nashville, and opening for such acts as Wayne Hancock and Carolyn Martin’s Western Swing Band. They strive to encapsulate the sounds of traditional 1940’s and 50’s Country and Western music, while adding their own tunes to the long lasting tradition they so greatly admire. From Waltzes to Boogies, hot swing to high and lonesome blues, you do not want to miss this band’s unique blend of true American music!
Drawing influences from such artists as Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Milton Brown, Jack Gurhrie, Tex Williams, Webb Pierce, Hank Thompson, and Hank Williams, The Radio Wranglers also write original music with a taste of the past. Fronted by the twin fiddle team of Blaine And Ruthie McQuinn on fiddle and vocals, The Radio Wranglers are Danny Tyksinski on lead guitar, and Ed Novak on rhythm guitar, and Peyton Lencho on doghouse bass.
Josh Harty is a messenger. A North Dakota songsmith. “A true son of the heartland whose bold defiance and riveting delivery channel the essence of American music” (Glide Magazine). As the son of a small town police chief and preacher, grandson of a South Dakota polka legend, Josh grew up performing with his dad at every Lutheran Church, Eagles Club, Moose Lodge and Rotary Club in the Upper Midwest. Having released several internationally-aclaimed albums and performing across the US & Europe, it is clear that Harty was born and bred for this. His live shows prove that good storytelling combined with journeyman musicianship is as authentic as music gets.
When Josh is not on the road, he resides in Madison, WI where he enjoys carpentry projects of all kinds and is an active member of the local music scene. Josh is also a long-time member of Folk Alliance and a founding member of The Wisconsin Room: an organization that promotes WI artists to an international audience and brings world- class music to Madison from elsewhere in the form of intimate gigs at various venues.
9 a.m. Registration
9:30 Chicken races
10:30 Chicken agility course
The third annual Great American Chicken Games will be held at CLUCK the Chicken Store on Saturday morning, August 25. You must register your chicken (sorry, no roosters) in advance. Winners will be awarded chicken feed from our co-sponsor, Nutrena Feeds.
Chris Plata Trio
Cris Plata was born in South Texas, the son of migrant workers. Those early days of living in different migrant camps and following the harvest from region to region, exposed Cris to a wide range of musical experiences.
His early musical experiences reflect his Mexican heritage. This heritage includes Norteno (Northern Mexico border music), conjunto (elements of both European and Mexican music fused by early residents of South Texas), and ranchera (Mexican country) music. Today, Cris describes this as “Mexican root’s” music.
Another strong influence stamped its mark on this man at an early age. This can be best described as the Texas singer-songwriter genre. Texas has long been the hot bed of musical talent that has been forged by its wide open vistas and its independent nature. Out of this landscape, Texas has “grown” notable and innovative singer-songwriters such as: Bob Wills (Texas swing), Townes Van Zandt and Lyle Lovett (masters of melodic story songs with a uniquely Texas soul), and Steve Earle (his “Guitar Town” is the epitome of gritty country-rock, a standard that Nashville writers have yet to reach).
With all of these influences, how do we describe Cris Plata’s music in a nutshell? Perhaps we will have to borrow the term Tex-Mex and redefine it. “Tex” would now stand for Texas singer-songwriters and “Mex” would stand for Mexican root’s music. But don’t let this definition confine your impression of his music. Just listen to his music and the best definition will be your own.
TBurns (Thomas Burns) plays songs and musical styles from every decade of the last century. Whether it’s a familiar Blues number, a Jazz standard, an Old-Time/Traditional ballad, or a recent Pop cover, his adept finger-style and flat picked guitar arrangements bring to life the character of the dusty, mischievous, American troubadour.
Where he’s been:
Thomas has played professionally on both coasts and, for the past several years, throughout South-Central Wisconsin. His original songs have won awards; have received local and national airplay; and have been featured on a number of studio CD releases. For six years, until 2011, he was with calicoDrifters
A diving accident in 2000 left Mark Harrod with a broken vertebrate in his neck. After 4 months of recovery, Harrod vowed then devote his life to one single pursuit. Music. And it shows in the words he chooses for lyrics and the actions he takes on stage. It is his outlet, and he wants it to be yours. Described as a hybrid clone of Dave Matthews and Rob Thomas, Mark Harrod’s music conveys struggle and hardship with and unsurrendering layer of hope and resiliency. In an uncertain world, Harrod confesses his imperfections and accepts them. And this revelation gives him and his onlookers tremendous energy. Harrod calls it, “Pop with a purpose.” Playing solo or with a supporting band, Harrod, who plays both acoustic guitar and piano, has over 15 years of performance experience. A must see, Mark Harrod is arguably one of the most uplifting musical acts in the Midwest.
Ken's earliest recollections include singing along to the family's Grundig radio-phonograph during the 60s while his father was stationed in France. Along with his parents' collection of jazz records, Ken heard the pop music broadcasts on Radio Luxembourg. When a neighbor sold him a Sears guitar for $15.00, Ken's career as an instrumentalist began. Ken started playing professionally in high school. In the late 70s, he played with Clyde Stubblefield in Windows and performed with Under the Table, opening for such acts as Tommy James and The Shondells and Gary "U.S." Bonds. For the last 25 years, Ken has been leading his own groups and has developed an active career as a solo performer and songwriter, drawing on his interest in classical, jazz and contemporary music. He specializes in acoustic finger-style guitar, featured prominently on his CD Jessica's Dreamin'. Ken plays his own songs, plus jazz and blues standards, and pop favorites from the 60s to the present.
Tom Waselchuk & John Parrott Guitar Duo
Vintage swing & country blues.
Tom Waselchuk will be familiar to southern Wisconsin audiences from his work with his Americana band The Dang-Its (1998 to present) and Gypsy swing ensemble Harmonious Wail (2001-2011), with whom he toured the U.S. and abroad. He keeps up a busy schedule of solo and small ensemble performances including his newest collaborations with Mr. Parrott and with Chicago vocalist Jodi Jean Amble. Ms. Amble, Mr. Waselchuk, and another of Tom’s long-time guitar partners, Doug Brown, are currently performing as The Honey Pies. Tom’s guitar work demonstrates equal ease with a range of styles from jazz and pop to country and bluegrass.
John Parrott is a rare species in the vast genus of acoustic guitarists. He plays the archtop rhythm guitar in a style that was common from the 1930s to the 1950s (think Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Wills). For forty years he's applied his skills, sensibilities, and adult chords to the field of String Jazz, backing up such luminaries as John Hartford, Vassar Clements, and Steve Goodman. John is especially noted for his many years of laying down the swinging pulse for the great jazz mandolinists Jethro Burns and Don Stiernberg. John currently works and records with Milwaukee musicians Chris Hanson, Robin Pluer and an assortment of jazz and swing artists.
Together they present a showcase of 20th century American music in a variety of genres with solidly swinging guitar artistry and more than acceptable vocals.
Trapper Schoepp is a young man who’s befriended a strange and diverse cast of characters during his 24 years. That small army of rogues and rebels, drifters and dreamers, soldiers and schemers populate his songs, their tragedies and comedies, their lives and deaths recalled in his finely etched musical vignettes.
Krause Family Band
The Paoli Schoolhouse brings the Krause Family Band back to the to the Sugar River Stage. The band plays a mixture of heartfelt original music, as well as some classic bluegrass/folk favorites, and some exciting renditions from contemporary artists.
Rick Krause, the band leader also throws in some stories and it has been said “that the stories he tells are as entertaining as the music.” They are a dynamic group with great musical voices.
The band was formed in the Madison area with its members dispersed around Southeastern Wisconsin. Members include: Rick Krause, guitar and harmonica, who heads up the group along with daughters, Katie Krause Flores, lead vocalist and Ruthie Emily Krause on the fiddle. They are best known after appearing on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion and WPR’s Simply Folk.
Rick Krause founder, leader and dad to girls, Ruth and Katie, has been at music, in some manner or another, most all his life. His first band was at age 7. He then worked his way up through the garage/basement band route and continued his quest to entertain and now his primary focus is performing and touring with the “Krause Family Band.” Rick is constantly writing new music and that is what spurs the creative juices of the group and keeps things fresh.
Katie Krause Flores has been singing since she could basically make a sound. She’s schooled in classical performance on piano and voice, but has always loved singing the “songs of her father.” She first sang with her dad, in weddings and church functions around the age of 10. She has a passionate, soulful voice that loves to be in front of an audience.
Ruth Krause followed in big sister’s footsteps, learning the “songs,” and began violin in grade school orchestra, but soon began picking up the old time tunes and styles she heard around the house. Ruth’s ear for harmonies and grooves, along with her song writing skills, have added a spin to this group. She and sister Kate, love singing in the old “brother-duet” style, but also can tear it up on Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s version of “Something Stupid!”