Review Roundup: Stephen King's THE SHINING Opera at Minnesota Opera

The highly anticipated world premiere of The Shining - a new opera based on Stephen King's 1977 best-selling novel - by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell, was presented by the Minnesota Opera on May 7th, at the Music Theater at the Ordway in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Let's see what the critics had to say:

Rob Hubbard, Thanks to the inspired intersection of Erhard Rom's stately set and the swirling, spooky projections of 59 Productions, Minnesota Opera is premiering the scariest opera you may ever experience. From Paul Moravec's score full of discomfiting themes that clash and collide to strongly sung and disarmingly believable portrayals of characters alive and otherwise, "The Shining" is an unqualified success, ranking alongside 2011's "Silent Night" as the best works to have been launched by Minnesota Opera's New Works Initiative.

Eric Ringham, MPR News: The Minnesota Opera's production of Stephen King's spooky novel is strangely exuberant. As dark a tale as it is, everybody involved - from the lobby staff to the packed house to the cast on stage - seems to know they have a hit on their hands. It's creepy, yes, but it's also exciting.

Michael Anthony, Star Tribune: The much-awaited opera version of "The Shining," the latest installment in Minnesota Opera's New Works Initiative, received its premiere at the Ordway Music Theater Saturday night. If the evening's chief question was, can a legitimate, engrossing opera be fashioned from an unlikely source - a popular horror-thriller tale - the answer offered in this eye-filling multimedia production with its Romantic score by Paul Moravec and deft libretto by Mark Campbell, along with a first-rate cast, was a resounding yes.

William Fietzer, The result is a work that features all the colors of the operatic palette. Kelly Kaduce and Brian Mulligan as Wendy and Jack Torrance make a vulnerable and compelling set of parents trying to overcome their personal demons while restoring the fragile bonds that constitute their marriage. Alejandro Vega as their son Danny strikingly conveys the terror of a young boy gripped between his parents' dissolving affections and the preternatural forces he experiences but can't control. Arthur Woodley as the protective cook, Dick Halloran; Mark Walters as Jack's father; David Walton as the previous caretaker, Delbert Grady; and the rest of the supporting cast do an excellent job of making the Overlook Hotel's sordid past become terrifying reality.

Peter Alexander, Sharps and Flatirons: It is a solid piece of work, dramatically effective, musically successful, and destined to be popular. And in the hands of the team from the Minnesota Opera-conductor Michael Christie, stage director Eric Simonson, scenery and properties designer Erhard Rom, the craftsmen of 59 Productions and their many colleagues-The Shining received a stunning production that realized the full potential of the score. The cast was uniformly first rate. At the end, the sold-out Ordway Music Theater audience stood and cheered.

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