Minnesota Opera's world premiere of Doubt gains critical acclaim


While plenty of Minnesotans gathered in St. Paul this weekend, not all of them were gawking at ice sculptures or Crashed Ice daredevils. Have no doubt some of them came downtown to see the opera.

The Minnesota Opera commissioned an adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Doubt," which made its world premiere at St. Paul's Ordway Center over the weekend. It was hailed with a standing ovation from those in attendance and a favorable review that appeared in newspapers around the country.

Shanley wrote the libretto, making this his third version of "Doubt," following stage and movie incarnations. A writer in the Star Tribune also considered the opera a success, calling it absorbing and "a philosophical yet lyrical whodunit."

"Doubt" depicts the layers of uncertainty surrounding a Catholic school principal's efforts to remove a priest suspected of abusing a student. Saturday night's debut was eagerly awaited in operatic circles, with MinnPost reporting even some across the pond in London paying attention to it.

MPR visited with Shanley and some of the performers in the early stages of rehearsals last summer.

"Doubt" is part of the Minnesota Opera's celebration of its 50th season. It continues through Feb. 3. More commissions are in the works, thanks to the Opera's $7 million New Works Initiative.

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