History (Pre-2020)

Best-of-Fringe-2016After a provisional year of new music production, RSO was formally founded in 2006 as a producing organization for new musical and dramatic works. The company was based in Brookline, Massachusetts for the first eight years of its existence, then relocated to Minneapolis in 2013 and made a critically lauded Midwest debut at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival with a revival of the opera The Frat Party. RSO returned to the 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival in July with Leanna Kirchoff‘s The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margaret.

Critic's-Pick-2016In 2016, RSO celebrated its 10th anniversary with a special performance run of Verdi’s classic opera Rigoletto at the historic Capri Theater in North Minneapolis. RSO also developed the critically acclaimed and award-winning Game of Thrones: The Musical, which premiered at the 2016 Minnesota Fringe Festival, and presented music at the Society for Ethnomusicology meeting in Washington, DC.

In 2017, RSO hit the road for a series of national and international tours. Highlights included:

  • Reprises of Game of Thrones: The Musical in January at the O’ahu and Maui Fringe Festivals. (Best-selling show for the venue, O’ahu Fringe.)
  • A reprise of Game of Thrones: The Musical in May at the Tampa Fringe Festival. (Best-selling show overall for the festival.)
  • Touring performances of Game of Thrones: The Musical, Jason Robert Brown’s musical The Last Five Years, and other programs in the American South, Eastern Seaboard, and Canada.
  • The world premiere of A Pickle at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. (100% sold out; best-selling show of the venue; Encore performance; winner of a Best of Fringe award from the Twin Cities Arts Reader; winner ofBroadway World-Minneapolis’ Best Original/New Work and Best Actress in a Play awards.)

RSO’s O’ahu Fringe Festival appearance included sold-out, standing room-only performances and local attendance records. Really Spicy Opera appeared at the Tampa, Orlando, and Montreal Fringe Festivals in May and June 2017, and at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August 2017.

Drama that burns and music that sates.