Moravec: A Timeless Contest

Moravec MnOpera SHINING workshop RED 1 500dpi

Pictured left to right: (standing) Minnesota Opera Artistic Director Dale Johnson; (seated facing audience) Stage Director Eric Simonson; composer Paul Moravec, and librettist Mark Campbell.    Photo courtesy: Minnesota Opera


UPDATE: Minnesota Opera’s first workshops of Paul Moravec’s new opera The Shining went very well, and everyone involved was pleased. Here’s a snapshot from the sessions. Read the original story below.



From October 12 – 15, 2014, the Minnesota Opera begins its first series of workshops of Paul Moravec’s new opera The Shining. Commissioned by the company 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 in May 2016 at Ordway in Saint Paul, MN.

Moravec MnOpera logo 2“King’s novel is naturally operatic – it sings,” Moravec shares. “It features the classic elements of operatic conflict, notably the power of love in the face of extraordinary evil and destructive forces. It’s a joy to imagine the musical form of this timeless contest, along with the story’s evocation of terror and the supernatural.”

Stage Director Eric Simonson observes, “Seeing notes and words on a page can tell a director a lot, but hearing those notes and words, in real time, with live singers is an extraordinary benefit, particularly when it comes to creating a new opera.” Librettist Mark Campbell adds, “…I know how crucial these kinds of workshops are to the process of creating new opera. Clarity in storytelling is paramount, but workshops are really the only place where the creators can begin to understand pacing…Is everything moving quickly enough to maintain tension? Does the score have any ‘floating’ moments that feel expository…? And…does the score contain enough of those moments in which the story is allowed to pause for a minute and the audience is permitted to dwell in the glory and melody of music?”

Moravec SHINING MnOpera imageSimonson continues. “It’s exciting. This will be the first time we — the artists, collaborators and creators — get together to hear this brand new piece. It will tell us much about how the music is reaching us as an audience. It will inform us, in a big way, whether we’re telling the story we want to tell and whether we’re on the right course in achieving the emotional and intellectual result we desire. This workshop is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. We’re extremely lucky and grateful to have The Shining workshop at Minnesota Opera.”

More October news: Moravec just returned from Italy where he served a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship; and…pianist Anthony de Mare continues with The Liaisons Project tour when he performs the composer’s work I Think About You at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY.