The Shining lights up the night at the Minnesota Opera

Based on the haunting classic by Stephen King, The Shining tells the story of Jack Torrence and his family battling demons in his mind and the secluded hotel he manages. Its up to 5 year old Danny with the gift of The Shining to save his parents – and himself – before its too late. 

[They arrive at the fence. Jack points off in the distance]
Jack: There it is.
Wendy: Oh, Jack, it's gorgeous.
[She smiles and leans affectionately into his arms]
Jack: Our new home. The Overlook Hotel.
Wendy: Beautiful.
Jack: Some say the most beautiful hotel in the country.

With music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell, The Shining opera plays like the 1980 film, with shrill violins marking an upcoming moment of horror and lyrics that range from romantic and joyful in the first act, to anger and terror in the second. Set designer Erhard Rom knew that this world premiere would draw an audience more familiar with the Jack Nicholson film than an opera stage, and he pulled out all the stops. Bringing the expansive, lonely, and breathtaking view of The Outlook Hotel in a black box felt natural, with multiple curtains creating a 3-D view of the Rocky Mountains. The Outlook Hotel is as much a living, breathing character as the Torrences, and the tall sliding walls gave the impression of a labyrinth, in which Danny and his mother Wendy run for their lives. 

 

Jack Torrence haunted by the ghosts of the past | Production Photography (c) Ken Howard

The Shining is faithful to Stephen King, and it paid off, as audiences lined up again and again to see this breathtaking adaptation. As the final show of the 2015-2016 season, Minnesota Opera's 7,056 seats were sold out for all four performances three weeks before it opened. 

The Shining with music by Paul Moravec and libretto by Mark Campbellm opened Thursday, May 7th, at the Ordway Music Theater in St. Paul, MN.