Skip to main content

Heeere's Johnny! St. Paul to premiere Minnesota Opera version of 'The Shining'

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Stephen King's classic horror thriller "The Shining" is being adapted into an opera that will premiere in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press reports.

The opera -- which will debut in May 2016 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts -- will be based on King's original book, which has been adapted into a a film starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall in 1980, and a miniseries starring Steven Weber and Rebecca De Mornay 1997.

The story follows alcoholic writer Jack Torrance's decent into madness as he watches over the desolate Overlook Hotel with his wife, Wendy, and young son, Danny, during a brutal Colorado winter. The title "The Shining" refers to Danny's telepathic powers.

According to a news release, the story "features the classic elements of operatic conflict, notably the power of love in the face of extraordinary evil and destructive forces. It's a joy to imagine the musical form of this timeless contest."

The Minnesota Opera has commissioned composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell to write the opera. It will be directed by Eric Simonson, who directed the Minnesota Opera's "Wuthering Heights" and "The Grapes of Wrath."

King reportedly hated the film version of "The Shining," directed and co-written by the late Stanley Kubrick, but lauded the miniseries, which he wrote. The opera's artistic director, Dale Johnson, is thrilled King gave his blessing for the opera version.

"It is tremendously exciting to have received Stephen King’s permission to adapt 'The Shining' into an opera," Johnson said in a statement. "Opera has the unique ability to amplify a story's emotions, and by putting one of the most powerfully imagined stories of our time into the hands of Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell, I have no doubt 'The Shining' will be an intensely thrilling horror opera."

In an interview with the Star Tribune, Johnson said Simonson first pitched the idea of a "Shining" opera to him four years ago.

“I thought, ‘are you kidding?’ ” Johnson told the newspaper. “But it’s perfect for opera, when you think about it. You have a hero who is struggling, a strong mother, both trying to keep the family safe. Today’s audiences want to see stories about them, to look on stage and see familiar characters. And Americans love horror.”

King, meanwhile, is publishing a sequel to "The Shining" on Sept. 24. Titled "Doctor Sleep," the novel finds a middle-aged Danny in a new battle of good vs. evil.

Minnesota fans who can't wait for 'The Shining" opera will have soon have a couple of other musical opportunities based on King's works playing in Minneapolis

"Carrie the Musical," based on King's classic novel, runs Oct. 4-27 at the New Century Theatre, while "Ghost Brothers," will play the State Theatre on Halloween.

King wrote the libretto for "Ghost Brothers," which will feature music by John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 2.12.05 PM

Changes at K102's Chris Carr & Company, with Sam Sansevere joining as co-host

She is the daughter of former KQRS morning show personality Bob Sansevere.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.


Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.


Mill City Museum in the running to be named best history museum in the U.S.

The museum offers scenic views of the Mississippi River.


Man charged with attempted murder of White Bear Lake police officer

Daniel Holmgren Jr., 33, was being served an arrest warrant at the time of the incident.


Gallery: 1,000-acre Wisconsin resort listed for nearly $4.3M

The lush landscape features a creek and private lake.

school bus

Alert after Woodbury students approached by strangers asking if they want candy

Valley Crossing Elementary School urged parents to go over safety information with their children in response to the incident.

basketball unsplash stock

North St. Paul basketball cancels Eden Prairie game after opposing coach's reinstatement

Head Coach Cornelius Gilleylen said he let his players decide amongst themselves.