He won a Pulitzer Prize for his first opera, so it makes sense that Minnesota Opera would tap composer Kevin Puts (pictured) for another new work. Artistic Director Dale Johnson announced Sunday that Puts and librettist Mark Campbell would create an opera from the political thriller "The Manchurian Candidate." The piece, slated for the 2014-15 season, will be the seventh production of Minnesota Opera's New Works Initiative.
Puts received the Pulitzer for music for "Silent Night," which had its premiere in November 2011 at the Ordway Center in St. Paul. Campbell wrote the libretto for that work.
Johnson approached Puts during rehearsals for "Silent Night" and said he would like Puts and Campbell to come up with another new proposal.
"The Manchurian Candidate" was a 1959 book by Richard Condon based on Cold War intrigue. An American soldier brainwashed in a Korean POW camp is used as a pawn to effect a political assassination. Laurence Harvey, Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury starred in the 1962 film, and a 2004 remake starred Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep.
Puts and Campbell will have a first act by next fall and the second act a few months later.
As for "Silent Night," Puts said Philadelphia Opera will stage the East Coast premiere in February.
Minnesota Opera officials announced "The Manchurian Candidate" in New York, where the new opera "Doubt" was performed for Works & Process at the Guggenheim. That opera, written by playwright John Patrick Shanley and composer Douglas Cuomo, will premiere at the Ordway on Jan. 26.
Graydon Royce • 612-673-7299