Utah Opera Presents 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winner SILENT NIGHT
Witness rare and poignant moments of humanity during the world's most brutal war in this stunning musical depiction of the legendary Christmas truce of 1914. "Silent Night," one of the most performed American operas of our time, is based on the 2005 screenplay "Joyeux Noël". Tomer Zvulun will direct the production, and Robert Tweten will conduct the cast, Utah Opera Chorus, and Utah Symphony.
Utah Opera's performances of "Silent Night" will take place in the newly renovated Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre on January 18 at 7:30 PM, January 20 and 22 at 7 PM, January 24 at 7:30 PM and January 26 at 2 PM. The production will be sung in English, German, French, Italian and Latin with English supertitles. Tickets priced $14.50-$106 are available for purchase through utahopera.org or by calling (801) 533-6683. Students are eligible to receive a 50 percent discount off the standard ticket price for Monday and Wednesday performances.
Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell's 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music-winning opera "Silent Night" has its Utah debut during this production. The opera based on Christian Carion's 2005 screenplay "Joyeux Noël," tells the story of the 1914 Christmas truce between German, French and Scottish soldiers during World War I. Baritone Craig Irvin, recently at Utah Opera in 2018 as Stubb in "Moby-Dick," performs the German Lieutenant Horstmayer. Grammy-Award winning Baritone Daniel Belcher, who recently sang in Utah Opera's productions of "The Long Walk," and "Die Fledermaus," performs Ponchel, the French lieutenant's aide-de-camp. The role of Father Palmer will be played by baritone Troy Cook, whose credits with the Utah Opera include "Die Fledermaus" and "Madama Butterfly." "Silent Night" also stars tenor Andrew Stenson, who performed with Utah Opera in "The Magic Flute" and "The Abduction from the Seraglio" as Nikolaus Sprink, an opera singer who is swept into World War I. Former Resident Artist Soprano Abigail Rethwisch returns to Utah Opera as the courageous Anna Sørensen, fellow opera singer and Nikolaus's lover. In addition to performing several supporting roles, she stepped in on less than two hours' notice in March 2017 to sing the title role of "Lucia di Lammermoor" for the entire run of the production thrilling audiences with "her command of Bel Canto technique and riveting dramatic talent" (Opera News).
Director Tomer Zvulun makes his Utah Opera debut with this award-winning, gripping production originally designed as a co-production for the Wexford Festival, The Glimmerglass Festival and The Atlanta Opera, where he also directed the production. His work has been presented by numerous opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, The Dallas Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Israeli Opera. Zvulun spent seven seasons on the directing staff of The Metropolitan Opera, where he was involved with multiple new productions. In addition to directing, he is currently the General and Artistic Director of The Atlanta Opera, where he has been since 2013. Recent productions include "Dead Man Walking" with the Israeli Opera, "Rigoletto" with the Houston Grand Opera and "Eugene Onegin" with the Opéra de Montréal.
Utah Opera welcomes back conductor Robert Tweten who has been described as leading with "verve and precision," as well as having "flawless" pacing and "musicality and near-symbiotic accord with singers." This production will be his eleventh opera with the company since 2005. Recent Utah Opera credits include "Roméo et Juliette," "La bohème" and "Carmen," in addition to Dayton Opera's "Madama Butterfly," Tulsa Opera's "Carmen," and El Paso Opera's "La Cenerentola."
"Silent Night" will feature scenic elements designed by Erhard Rom, whose designs for Utah Opera's 2018 "Moby-Dick" most recently graced the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre stage. Mr. Rom was named as a finalist in the Designer of the Year category for the 2015 International Opera Awards in London. He has designed settings for over 200 productions around the world, in addition to teaching design at Montclair State University. In 2014, he designed the European premiere of "Silent Night," which was awarded two accolades at the 2015 Irish Times Theatre Awards Ceremony, including the audience choice award and best opera production of 2014. Other recent productions include Houston Grand Opera's "Rigoletto," San Francisco Opera's "The Marriage of Figaro," and Opéra de Montréal's "Eugene Onegin."
Composer Kevin Puts has been critically acclaimed for "Silent Night," his debut opera that premiered in 2012, and has since been produced and performed across the globe. It has been cited as "a stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous ceasefire [the 1914 Christmas truce] among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart." In addition to opera, Mr. Puts composes orchestral, solo, wind ensemble/band, choral, chamber and solo pieces.
Mark Campbell is one of today's leading opera librettists. Recognition includes a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Recording, the first Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, two Richard Rodgers Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three Drama Desk nominations, and a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award. Campbell has written 28 librettos, lyrics for seven musicals, text for five song cycles and one oratorio. An advocate for contemporary American opera, he mentors future generations of writers through multiple organizations, including American Opera Projects, American Lyric Theatre and Washington National Opera's American Opera Initiative.
Performances of "Silent Night" run approximately two hours and 30 minutes with one intermission. Tickets, priced from $14.50-$106, are available for purchase through www.utahopera.org or by calling (801) 533-6683.