(GOLDENDALE, Wash., August 26, 2014) Maryhill Museum of Art and Columbia Center for the Arts are proud to co-present Too Much Coffee Man Opera at the Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River on September 19 & 20, 2014.
Too Much Coffee Man Opera is the first in a genre now called Gonzo Opera, melding zany plots and sub-plots with classical vocal technique. Based on the popular comic character Too Much Coffee Man, created by Portland-based artist/writer Shannon Wheeler, the opera is the brainchild of Wheeler and Emmy-winning composer Daniel Steven Crafts.
During the one-act opera, tragedy and comedy ensue in equal measure when the character Too Much Coffee Man – an average Joe – falls head over heels for his local barista. Also vying for her attention is Espresso Guy. Who shall she choose? Either? Neither? Or perhaps she has other plans. The result is a hilarious and romantic tribute to the wonders of coffee, bordering on the fantastical.
The cast in Hood River will feature vocalists Zein Hassanein (Too Much Coffee Man), Sierra Renz (barista) and David Warner (The Espresso Guy), along with musicians Dunja Jennings (clarinet), Kevin Deitz (bass) and Barton Rippe (piano).
Too Much Coffee Man Opera premiered in Portland in 2006; since then it has been produced in a variety of cities including San Diego (at ComiCon), Albuquerque and the Astoria Music Festival, always to sold-out audiences.
Too Much Coffee Man Opera will play at the Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Avenue in Hood River, Oregon at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 19 and Saturday, September 20. Ticket-holders are invited to enjoy a pre-performance coffee tasting with Hood River Coffee Roasters at 6:30 p.m. both nights; a small exhibition featuring the comic art of Shannon Wheeler also will be presented in the lobby.
Performances are general seating; tickets are $25 ($20 for members of Maryhill Museum of Art or Columbia Center for the Arts). A discount of 10% is available to groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased online at www.maryhillmuseum.org, in person at Columbia Center for the Arts and Wacoma Bookstore in Hood River, or at Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington. For group sales, phone orders or more information, call 509-773-3733 ext. 20.
Too Much Coffee Man Opera tickets can also be redeemed for $2 off general admission at Maryhill Museum of Art.
Too Much Coffee Man Opera is presented in connection with Maryhill’s current special exhibition The Flip Side: Comic Art by New Yorker Cartoonists, featuring work by a half-dozen artists whose cartoons regularly appear in the New Yorker magazine. The exhibition, sponsored by Puget Sound Energy, is on view through November 15, 2014.
The presentation of Too Much Coffee Man Opera is made possible with the generous support of Columbia Center for the Arts, Bicoastal Media, and Hood River Coffee Roasters.
Housed in a glorious Beaux Arts mansion on 5,300 acres high above the Columbia River, Maryhill Museum of Art opened to the public May 13, 1940 and today remains one of the Pacific Northwest’s most enchanting cultural destinations. The museum was founded by Northwest entrepreneur and visionary Sam Hill, who purchased the property and began building the house with dreams of establishing a Quaker farming community. When that goal proved untenable, Hill was encouraged by friends Loie Fuller, Queen Marie of Romania, and Alma de Bretteville Spreckles to establish a museum.
Maryhill Museum of Art boasts a world-class permanent collection, rotating exhibitions of the highest caliber, and dynamic educational programs that provide opportunities for further exploration by visitors of all ages. On view are more than 80 works by Auguste Rodin, European and American paintings, objects d’art from the palaces of the Queen of Romania, Orthodox icons, unique chess sets, and the renowned Théâtre de la Mode, featuring small-scale mannequins attired in designer fashions of post-World War II France. Baskets of the indigenous people of North America were a collecting interest of Hill; today the museum’s American Indian collection represents nearly every tradition and style in North America, with works of art from prehistoric through contemporary.  Maryhill’s William and Catherine Dickson Sculpture Park features more than a dozen large-scale works by Northwest artists. The Maryhill Overlook is a site-specific sculpture by noted Portland architect Brad Cloepfil; nearby are Lewis and Clark interpretive panels. Four miles east of Maryhill is a life-sized replica of Stonehenge, Stonehenge Memorial, which Sam Hill built to memorialize local men who perished in World War I. Nearby, the Klickitat County War Memorial honors those who have died in the service of their country since World War I.The museum was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In 2001 the museum was listed as an official site of the National Historic Lewis and Clark Trail and in 2002 was accredited by the American Association of Museums. In 2012 the museum opened the Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing, a 25,500 square foot expansion that is the first in the museum’s history. The new wing boasts the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Education Center, a collections storage and research suite, a new cafe and terrace, and the Cannon Power Plaza with an installation of sculpture, and sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood in the distance. VISITOR INFORMATION:
Maryhill Museum of Art is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 15 to November 15. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for youth age 7-18 and free for children 6 and under. Admission to the Stonehenge Memorial is free; it is open from 7:00 a.m. to dusk daily.

Sandwiches, salads, espresso drinks, cold beverages, and freshly baked desserts and pastries, as well as a selection of local wines are available at the museum’s cafe, Loie’s, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily; the Museum Store features art and history books, jewelry, Native American crafts and other mementos.

Maryhill is located off Highway 97, 12 miles south of Goldendale, Washington. Drive times to the museum are 2 hours from Portland/Vancouver, 3.5 hours from Bend, 4 hours from Seattle, and 1.5 hours from Yakima. For further information, visit maryhillmuseum.org.