Tagged: Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative

In Review: “The Shining


Music by Paul Moravec
Libretto by Mark Campbell
Based on the novel The Shining (and the novela Before The Play) by Stephen King
Conducted by Michael Christie
Directed by Eric Simonson
Featuring Brian Mulligan, Kelly Kaduce, Arthur Woodley, and Alejandro Vega

Presented by Minnesota Opera

Kelly Kaduce, Brian Mulligan, and Alejandro Vega (center) with the cast of Minnesota Opera's production of The Shining.

Kelly Kaduce, Brian Mulligan, and Alejandro Vega (center) with the cast of Minnesota Opera’s production of The Shining.

Ever since it began in 1963 as Center Opera, Minnesota Opera has been on the forefront in developing and championing new modern operatic works. Thanks to its New Works Initiative, it has worked tirelessly to commission and perform new works to add to the operatic repertoire; a stellar list that has included Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s The Manchurian Candidate and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night, Douglas J. Cuomo and John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, the co-commissioning with Santa Fe Opera the premiere of Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer’s Cold Mountain, and more; including next season’s world premiere production of Dinner at Eight. But the Initiative might have scored its biggest triumph yet with the world premiere of Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s The Shining. While at first blush Stephen King’s iconic modern-day horror novel might seem an odd choice for an opera, Moravec and Campbell have created a thrilling addition to the modern opera repertoire aided and abetted by one of the strongest productions Minnesota Opera has created in its fifty-three year history.

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In Review: “The Manchurian Candidate” at Minnesota Opera


Music by Kevin Puts
Libretto by Mark Campbell
Adapted from the novel by Richard Condon
Conducted by Michael Christie
Directed by Kevin Newburry
Featuring Matthew Worth, Brenda Harris, Leonardo Capalbo, and Daniel Sumegi

Presented by Minnesota Opera

Matthew Worth in theLeonardo Capalbo as Captain Ben Marco, Victoria Vargas as Mrs. Lowe, Matthew Worth as Sergeant Raymond Shaw and Will Liverman as Andrew Hanley in the Minnesota Opera production of The Manchurian Candidate.

Matthew Worth in Minnesota Opera’s production of The Manchurian Candidate

What if everything you knew was a complete and utter lie? What if your actions, your will, your very self, was no longer under your control?

Matthew Worth and Leonardo Capa in Minnesota Opera's production of The Manchurian Candidate

Matthew Worth and Leonardo Capalbo in Minnesota Opera’s production of The Manchurian Candidate

It’s that sweeping sense of paranoia that infects The Manchurian CandidateRichard Condon‘s influential 1959 Cold War thriller that has captivated the public’s imagination since its publication. This mind-bending tale of enemies without and within has been adapted before; first with director John Frankenheimer‘s and screenwriter George Axelrod‘s iconic 1962 film adaptation (featuring legendary performances from Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, and an Oscar-nominated turn from Angela Lansbury), then critic and playwright John Lahr‘s stage adaptation in 1992 reset the action within in the shadow of the first Gulf War, and most recently in 2004 when Jonathan Demme’s film version which turned the enemy into a faceless security corporation with designs on the government. And now with Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell‘s operatic adaptation (getting its world premiere courtesy of Minnesota Opera and its New Works Initiative), we have another worthy spin on the tale that matches the original in mood and tone. Puts and Campbell (the same team behind the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night, which had its world premiere at Minnesota Opera in 2011) have managed to create an elegantly jarring, atmospheric opera that is a dazzling work on its own and a dead on adaptation of the original material.

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