Opera world looking to Minnesota to see how bright 'The Shining' is

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Is opera a dying art form?

The standing-room-only crowds that will fill St. Paul's Ordway Center for the Performing Arts this weekend would probably say no.

Actually, they might shout it. As in: "NOOO! Don't go in there!"

Mark Campbell who wrote the libretto for the opera "The Shining," tells MPR News he's hoping for that kind of horror movie response from the audience during the opera's world premiere Saturday night.

Stephen King's novels have been turned into movies, TV shows, comic books but never an opera – until now.

Nearly three years ago the Minnesota Opera commissioned Campbell and Paul Moravec, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, to come up with an opera based on "The Shining." It's part of the Opera's New Works Initiative, a program that's adding to the operatic catalog.

Music makes the book scarier

Its creators have made it clear that the opera is based on Stephen King's book, not the movie Stanley Kubrick made out of it.

King reportedly disliked the movie but MinnPost reported last fall that he'd read and approved Campbell's libretto for the opera.

Composer Moravec said then: “It wasn’t hard to adapt [King’s book] because it’s practically an opera to begin with. … Opera for me is about three things: love, death and power. … This story has all of those elements in spades."

And the opera has something else, too: spooky music.

Moravec told MPR he thinks the power of the music makes the opera a more terrifying spectacle than Kubrick's movie, saying the singers and the orchestra "plug directly into the central nervous system of the listeners in the audience."

One of those singers is Minnesota native Kelly Kaduce who has the role of Wendy Torrance, wife of the tormented Jack Torrance (Find a synopsis of the story here).

Kaduce grew up on the plains of southern Minnesota and tells the Star Tribune she made her stage debut as Annie with the Winnebago Community Players when she was in fourth grade. The newspaper notes this is the third straight Minnesota Opera production in which Kaduce is the lead soprano.

Future of the opera an open question

So if "The Shining" is a hit, draws new fans to opera, and gets performed around the world for years to come – we can say it all started in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 7, 2016.

On the other hand, if there's a consensus that the opera is a dud, it may never be performed again after its run at the Ordway ends on May 15.

Moravec tells the Associated Press the creative team has rights from King, Warner Bros. and the Kubrick estate only for the opera to be presented in St. Paul. A decision on any future performances will be made after that.

"We hope it's successful and the word gets out," Moravec told the AP. "Fingers crossed."

Next Up

Eddie Rosario

Report: Twins place Eddie Rosario on outright waivers

The outfielder's time with the team appears to be coming to an end.

radio station, microphone

Christian music broadcaster revealed as buyers of Go Radio

Educational Media Foundation. operates the K-Love brand, which has a presence already in the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 5.04.39 PM

St. Paul police chief reportedly fires officer who shot naked, unarmed man

Chief Todd Axtell said the officer's use of force was not reasonable.

Trevor May

Report: Trevor May leaving Twins to sign with Mets

The right-hander will sign a two-year deal to head to New York

Car crash

'Grim' milestone: Minnesota's traffic deaths reach 364, tying 2019 total

“With fewer vehicles on the road during the 2020 pandemic, the loss of life on Minnesota roads is beyond disappointing."

Devin Weiland

Charges: Albert Lea man, 21, fired around 90 shots at police, residents

Weiland was arrested after a standoff that lasted more than eight hours.

Body storage warehouse

Body storage warehouse 'ready if needed for COVID-19 fatality management'

The warehouse is currently storing PPE and testing supplies.

Giordano's

Signs come down at Giordano's restaurant in Uptown

It appears the restaurant has closed for good.

State Capitol.

Walz eyes COVID-19 relief package totaling $300-$600 million amid budget surplus

The state forecasted a budget surplus for the remainder of the biennium.

Bar beer

Walz non-committal on extension of restaurant, gym closures

He has suggested that the ban on mixing with people outside your household could continue over Christmas.

Related