On September 15, 2023, composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell’s acclaimed opera The Shining receives its first run at the Atlanta Opera. Brian Staufenbiel directs and Timothy Myers conducts the opera at the Alliance Theatre. Directly based on the famed 1977 Stephen King novel, the opera was commissioned by The Minnesota Opera and premiered in May 2016 at the Ordway Music Theater in St. Paul, MN. Eric Simonson directed and Michael Christie conducted the premiere performances. Several seasons and productions later, the Atlanta Opera’s performances feature a double-cast, and a newly reduced orchestration that was first presented last season at Opera Parallèle (San Francisco) – also directed by Staufenbiel. This new orchestration of the opera is a co-production with Hawai‘i Opera Theatre and the Portland Opera.
Paul Moravec reflects on his journey with The Shining from its world premiere to this current production. “It is a joy to watch the progress of The Shining in its various productions as each team interprets it differently, always sounding fresh and discovering new resonances in this endlessly fascinating drama. Stephen King’s novel is naturally operatic – it sings. It features the classic elements of operatic conflict — love, death, and power — on steroids. At its heart, of course, opera is theater, and so I am thrilled to see it in Atlanta’s world-class Alliance Theater. I am doubly thrilled about the Atlanta Opera’s production as it features not one but two astounding principal casts performing in alternation, a composer’s dream come true!”
Librettist Mark Campbell adds, “Brian Staufenbiel’s assiduous direction has somehow found a way to retain the myth and magnitude of the original story while making it more intimate…and therefore, scarier. And what is scarier than the darker realms of the human heart? And what expresses the nature of those realms better than music? The Shining enjoys unprecedented success as an opera because it does what opera always does well…but with a modern American story composed by Paul Moravec, a masterful musical storyteller.”
Atlanta Opera’s production of The Shining offers 10 additional performances through October 1. Find out more here.