Moravec: The Shining…Sneak Peek!

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Danny Torrance

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It’s April 1st and it’s about a little over a month until the Minnesota Opera’s May 7th world premiere of Paul Moravec’s new work The Shining.

Commissioned by the Minneosta Opera as part of its New Works Initiative, the opera is based on Stephen King’s 1977 best-selling novel and features a libretto by Mark Campbell. The Shining receives its world premiere at The Ordway in Saint Paul, MN. “The Shining,” Moravec observes, “features the classic elements of operatic conflict, notably the power of love in the face of extraordinary evil and destructive forces.”

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Wendy Torrance

The Shining features classic multi-dimensional characters both living and non-living. Awarding-winning costume designer Kärin Kopischke *** shares some thoughts about creating designs that bring depth to these characters as they come to life on stage. “My rendering style reflects which world the characters inhabit. The living characters are rendered in a realistic way with saturated colors. The non-living are rendered in a stylized way that is a little unsettling, and devoid of color and life.”

She continues. “The Shining was written in the 1970s; but we decided to have the living

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Delbert Grady

characters’ costumes more timeless — reminiscent of the decade but not out of place in the late 20th century or even today. I also wanted their costumes to be saturated with color, in contrast to the non-living characters. I wanted the ghosts’ costumes devoid of color — the life & color had been sucked out of them. Also, in contract to the living, the ghosts obviously belong in specific past decades; the 1940s, the 1960s, & the early 1970s. The color of their skin was carefully described by King [in his book]: ‘…his skin was horribly white, like the

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Jack Torrance

skin of a corpse’…‘his eyes were socketed in shadow’…[and] ‘its eyes were red, blank and homicidal.’ I wanted to make sure the makeup of the non-living was also devoid of color, with the exception of the blood-red eyes. Jack Torrance starts the opera in clothing saturated in colors of the living world. As the hotel and the non-living start to take him over, his clothing begins to lose color. Eventually his clothing begins to lose color. Eventually his clothes are in the same colorless palette as the ghosts, with accents of blood read…[and] his skin becomes, pale, with red homicidal eyes.”

*** All costume sketches by Kärin Kopischke