Playwright John Patrick Shanley, seen at the premiere of the film "Doubt," has written the libretto for the Minnesota Opera premiere in 2013.

The Minnesota Opera has announced a new commission that should raise some national interest. As part of its New Works Initiative, the opera will produce the premiere of "Doubt" as part of the company’s 50th anniversary season in 2013.

John Patrick Shanley, who wrote the Pulitzer and Tony-winning play, has created the libretto; Composer Douglas Cuomo has written the score. Shanley also wrote an adaptation of his play for a film that starred Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

"Doubt," the opera, will get a workshop in Cincinnati in just a couple of weeks. Some of the money for that 10-day residency was provided by a Mellon Foundation grant. Separate from that support, Mellon has given a $750,000 grant to the Minnesota Opera to support the project. 

"Doubt" was a huge hit on Broadway for its lean and focused dialectic between a rigidly traditional nun and a charismatic priest who tangle in the early 1960s. It has toured the Twin Cities and a Ten Thousand Things production last winter recently receive Ivey recognition as one of the best productions of the year.

The opera did not announce a director and conductor for the production. The announcement of the commission comes as the opera begins rehearsals for "Silent Night," which will have its world premiere on Nov. 12. That piece, by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, was also a product of the New Works Initiative, a multi-year program to bring new and rarely produced recent work to the opera stage. The $750,000 grant is in addition to $500,000 that Mellon gave to the program in 2008. The opera has raised $5.9 million, and hopes to reach $7 million for the initiative.