On September 15, 2023, the Atlanta Opera began its 11-performance run of composer Paul Moravec and librettist’s Mark Campbell’s opera The Shining, directly based on Stephen King’s celebrated 1977 novel. It was so popular that the production sold-out; so, they added an additional 12th performance at the Alliance Theatre! The “pleasingly macabre” production’s opening night reviews keep pouring in, as Paul Hyde, of ArtsAtlanta.org and The Atlanta Journal Constitution noted, “It’s a compelling stage work, satisfyingly creepy…poignant and humorous, and driven by a colorful score, superb vocals and eye-popping high-tech visuals.”
The Shining, originally commissioned by The Minnesota Opera, premiered in May 2016 at the Ordway Music Theater in St. Paul, MN, directed by Eric Simonson and conducted by Michael Christie. The Atlanta Opera production – directed by Brian Staufenbiel and conducted by Timothy Myers – 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 Portland Opera. The Atlanta Opera’s additional 12th performance is scheduled for September 29. The Shining runs through October 1.
Last time, we spoke with Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell about the Atlanta Opera’s production. This time, we’ll hear from stage director Brian Staufenbeil and music director Timothy Myers as they offer their perspectives on bringing The Shining to life. Before the premiere, Staufenbiel shared, “It has been a wonderful experience putting this production together for the formidable co-presenters, Atlanta Opera and Alliance Theater. The excitement is palpable, and the cast and crew are ready to give a fantastic show!” After opening night, other critices such as Jody-Tuso Key, Managing Editor of Speakeysie, wrote, “…This operatic version is true to [King’s] novel, and the choice to make this stage adaption an opera was a pitch-perfect match…The adaptation of [King’s] masterpiece into opera is genius…[and] based on the opening night audience reaction, this show is a success!”
Music director Timothy Myers adds, “I’ve been very curious about Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s The Shining, since its premiere in 2016 and am delighted to finally have the opportunity to work on the piece. Along with stage director Brian Staufenbiel and a terrific cast, we’re digging deep into Mark’s compelling libretto that is brought to life by the incredibly diverse and consuming sound world with which Paul surrounds it. These performances of The Shining in Atlanta are ‘not to be missed’ theatre!”
Performances continue through October 1. For more details, visit The Atlanta Opera here.