‘The Shining’ Gets The Opera Treatment?!
When you hear the name Stephen King, what’s the first story of his that pops into your mind?
I’m sure it’s different for each person, but I would also wager a guess if there is one story that the general public would think of first, it would be “The Shining.” King had two previous successful books before this, but this was his first bestseller in hardback. However while the book was and still is very popular, it’s the film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick starring Jack Nicholson that is the reason for it’s place in popular culture. Now the Minnesota Opera has created an Opera version of the story.
The basic story of “The Shining” is that a man and his family are charged with watching a hotel that turns out to be haunted for an entire winter by themselves. The father goes insane and tries to kill his wife and psychic son. For King himself this was a story about redemption and allowed him to work through his very personal issues at the time so it’s understandable that he would take issue with the film’s version of the story. Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell are the men behind the Opera and got King’s approval to adapt the book.
“Stephen King’s original novel is all about love, death and power, and those are the three foundational components for an opera.”
This feels like a growing trend of giving classic films/stories a new lease on life for the stage. From the “Evil Dead” and “Reefer Madness” musicals to the “The Fly” Opera. Even the Minnesota Opera themselves have previously done opera versions of “Doubt,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” and “Silent Night.” It may be the performing arts way of keeping younger audiences engaged, but the results are hard to argue with. For whatever the reason it is a fascinating phenomenon and an interesting way to use the property.
A few years ago King wrote a sequel called “Doctor Sleep” which has no planned film adaptation at the writing of this article. Warner Bros has announced a prequel to the Kubrick version which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. So if you need your “Shining” fix and you’ve seen the Nicholson version a bunch of times, reread the book, (rightly) avoid the miniseries version, then maybe seeing the Opera version would be a nice new experience. Tickets are on sale on the official website.
This story was first reported by NPR.