Minnesota Opera’s reputation for developing new work has drawn interest and encouragement from many sources nationally and internationally. The company announced Thursday that it will receive a $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support upcoming commissions of “The Manchurian Candidate,” “The Shining” and “Dinner at Eight.”
The gift, which stretches over three years, completes fundraising for the Opera’s $7 million New Works Initiative and launches a new phase.
The gift “sets the stage for the Initiative’s continuation and underscores the national importance of this landmark program for the development of new opera,” Opera President and General Director Kevin Ramach said in a statement.
The initiative was launched in 2008 with the intention of supporting new commissions and revivals of newer work (which in opera can mean anything from the last century) or work seldom performed. Among the world premieres developed through the program are “Silent Night” (Photo above by Tom Wallace) by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell and “Doubt” by John Patrick Shanley and Douglas Cuomo (below, photo by Tom Wallace).
Puts won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his “Silent Night” score. He and Campbell are working on an adaptation of “The Manchurian Candidate,” which is in development and targeted for a premiere next March.
Campbell will also serve as librettist for “The Shining” with composer Paul Moravec (slated for May 2016) and he will write “Dinner at Eight” with composer William Bolcom (headed for 2017). Both those productions are part of the second phase of the initiative. Additionally, the New Works Initiative incorporates a co-commission of “Cold Mountain” (based on Charles Frazier's Civil War novel) with Santa Fe and Opera Philadelphia, with a score by composer Jennifer Higdon.