By Marcina Zaccaria


On February 23, creators of the new opera, The Shining, led a presentation at The National Opera Center in New York City.


The Shining is based on the novel by Stephen King. In the opera, Jack Torrance, keeper of the Overlook Hotel, succumbs to alcoholism, unceasing abuse, and his failing writing career. Composer Paul Moravec and Librettist Mark Campbell were at the event to speak about their latest project. It is developed with New Works Initiative that began in 2008. The creative team presented songs, costume, set, and projection designs. In what can be a challenging psychological story, Moravec (Pulitzer Prize for Music, 2004) has created moments of realization for Jack, Wendy, their son Danny, and the cook, Hollander. The opera also features a chorus, and an orchestra of 53 players.


The composition features trombones and harps, revealing the most poetic aspects of the opera. Finding the best tone for the production has been a challenge. Full, invited workshops took place over a year and a half ago. After a judicious process of figuring out what would work best on the grand stage, the opera of The Shining boasts extraordinary party scenes and harrowing shadows. Tension and drama reaches a height when the boiler explodes. Jack threatens to kill his family, and the Overlook Hotel eventually implodes. Some of most memorable scenes from the iconic movie (including the chase sequence in the topiary) will not make it to the operatic stage, but there is still plenty of gutsy material for the singers.


Mark Campbell (Silent Night, Pulitzer Prize for Music, 2012) said, “We’re bringing out an emotional core in the story that you did not see in the movie.”


The Shining will be performed from May 7-15 at the Ordway in St. Paul, MN.