It’s Rainin’ Men … the Men of ‘Silent Night’

Liam Bonner (baritone, Lieutenant Audebert)


Where are you based when not performing?

New York City.

What advice do you offer aspiring artists?

Be yourself.

If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would they be?

My personality wouldn’t allow me to survive on a deserted island; Castaway was very traumatizing for me

What is your dream role?

Germont in La traviata

 Are there any favorite backstage stories/moments you would like to share from this or previous performances that our audience might enjoy?

Ewa Podles and I were doing Ballo together in Houston and since we were both finished at the end of the first act, we hung out in the dressing room on opening night drinking the bottle of champagne given to us as a gift until it was time for the curtain call. She told me her life story.

What are your top three favorite operas?

Marriage of Figaro, Don Carlo, Billy Budd

Have you ever had hot dish, and if so what is your favorite variety?

I have had “hot dish”, but in Pittsburgh (where I’m originally from) it’s just called a casserole. My favorite is zucchini casserole.

Where do you feel you delivered your strongest performance?

As the title role in Halmet with Washington National Opera.

What has been the most challenging piece you have worked on and why?

Stravinsky’s ‘Les Noces’  – besides the fact that it’s musically challenging, it’s also in a rural Russian dialect that even my Russian speaking colleague had trouble learning.

How has music changed your life?

I never planned to make a career in music, but I can honestly say that I can’t imagine it any other way. I am aware of how blessed and fortunate I am to be making a living in this profession.

Gabriel Preisser (baritone, Lieutenant Gordon)


Where are you based when not performing?


What advice do you offer aspiring artists?

Stay out of debt and follow your passion.

Where do you feel you delivered your strongest performance?

Figaro in Barber of Seville with Owensboro Symphony.

What tends to be the most challenging element of performing?

Making new and fresh every time.

Are you really as scandalous as they say you are?

I love to have a fun time, let’s leave it at that.

Are there any favorite backstage stories/moments you would like to share?

Tenors… Agh…! “Where is the Count for his entrance?” Holds the show… Oh turns out he is taking a shower backstage. He thought he had enough time between scenes and was getting sweaty the poor thing… Tenors!

What are your top three favorite operas?

Falstaff, Giovanni, Il Pagliacci

What is your dream role?


How long have you been working with opera?

About 8 years

What has been the most challenging piece you have worked on and why?

Postcard from Morroco, complex music and subject matter.

Michael Nyby (baritone, William Dale)


Where are you based when not performing?

My wife and I just moved last month to Toronto from Vancouver.

What advice do you offer aspiring artists?

The most helpful thing I ever learned was how to accept disappointment from defeat or rejection.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Mozart, Verdi, and Indiana Jones

Where do you feel you delivered your strongest performance?

In the shower every morning, but unfortunately I have not been able to attain to the same level of genius on the stage.

What tends to be the most challenging element of performing?

For me it’s usually the first entrance in a performance, but once I get past the initial nerves, it’s pretty smooth sailing.

What is your favorite Twin Cities destination?

I have a running route through Boom Island Park, around Nicollet Island and over the Stone Arch Bridge. It’s gorgeous in the autumn.

If you had to choose a different field of work, what would you choose?

I would probably be working as a mechanic in a neighbourhood mountain bike store in Vancouver.

Are you really as scandalous as they say you are?

Yes. Absolutely. No question about it.

Are there any favorite backstage stories/moments you would like to share from this or previous performances that our audience might enjoy?

Yes, but decency prevents me from sharing in a public forum!

Have you ever had hot dish, and if so what is your favorite variety?

Yes, because I have attended Minnesota Opera’s famous Church Basement Luncheon. I’m not sure what was in it, but I remember it had French’s fried onions as the top layer.*

(*editorial note, Green Bean Casserole)

Ben Wager (bass, The French General)


Where are you based when not performing? 

Philadelphia, PA

What advice do you offer aspiring artists?

Soak up all criticism and advice you can.  When critiqued, always respond with “Yes, and…” rather than a “yes, BUT!”

Who are your biggest inspirations?

War vets.  It keeps things in perspective.

Where do you feel you delivered your strongest performance?

At the Academy of Vocal Arts as Enrico in Anna Bolena.

What tends to be the most challenging element of performing?

Keeping that little chaos-loving demon living in your brain on a leash!  It may sound strange but every performer I know has some version of that voice in his/her head who just likes to cause trouble when you’re trying your hardest to focus and take things seriously.

What do you think makes Minnesota Opera unique from other companies?

Positive attitude and an uncanny sense purpose and cohesion throughout the entire company.

What has been the most challenging piece you have worked on and why?

Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia.  It’s just musically very tricky: unusual harmonic shifts and rhythms.

How has music changed your life?

It has brought into contact with so many different types of people in countless places that I otherwise may not have.  It’s made me say to myself on numerous occasions:  I can’t believe I get to do this for a living.

If you had to choose a different field of work, what would you choose?

I was a Criminal Justice major in college, I planned to go into the U.S. Marshal’s service.  But if I had to choose one, I’d be a studio bassist.

Are there any favorite backstage stories/moments you would like to share from this or previous performances that our audience might enjoy?

I’m probably one of the last people to sing with Salvatore Licitra who was a good enough colleague to escort me down off a horrendously steep rake during a performance of Andrea Chenier because the costume department accidentally switched my boots so the ones I had on didn’t grip the copper plated surface AT ALL.

John Robert Lindsey (tenor, Jonathan Dale)


How has music changed your life?

The biggest thing music has done for me is improved my ability to communicate. I’m very quiet by nature, so being on stage and laying all of your emotions out on the table is an important learning experience. Having the music be the motor behind that emotion is very nice.

What are your top three favorite operas?

Carmen, Otello, and Turandot, for now. That will change by next week. I can’t ever narrow it down.

What has been the most challenging piece you have worked on and why?

I had to do the Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia when I was 20 and was absolutely terrified. I was very new to opera, and singing Britten as one of my first big roles was very hard, musically speaking.

Are there any favorite backstage stories/moments you would like to share from this or previous productions that our audience might enjoy?

There was a production in college I did of Marriage of Figaro. One of my best friends was playing the Count, and was supposed to open a window during the second act finale to look for Cherubino. The window, of course, just opened to the backstage area– so three or four of us guys stripped down to our boxers and posed like a model ad in the window, but just out of sight of the audience. He opened it and saw us and started cracking up. We didn’t think he would be able to get it together before his next line, but he did. He told us it was only because he bit his cheek on purpose to stop laughing. Professionalism in action all around, back then.

What is your dream role?

My dream role has always been Don Jose, but since I was lucky enough to do it already, I’m waiting to do Otello now. That one would be fun.

If you had to choose a different field of work, what would you choose?

I would be a personal trainer, I think. Or maybe go back to manual labor stuff like working roofs and lumber mills. I always really enjoyed that.

Have you ever had hot dish, and if so what is your favorite variety?

I grew up on all kinds of hot dish stuff– tuna casserole, frito pie, green bean casserole, shepherd’s pie, the list goes on and on. I think green bean casserole has always been my favorite.

What tends to be the most challenging element of performing?

Staying engaged in a character between scenes can be tricky, particularly if you’re playing one of the many crazy people in opera. If you completely let down it will translate into the next scene, but if you try to get too into it backstage people start wondering if you’ll be committed to an asylum during the run of the show.

If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would they be?

If we’re talking material things (because I certainly would want my girlfriend and her dog to be there!), I guess I would say as much good cheese as possible, a set of weights to work off the cheese, and a good bottle of scotch for nights next to the campfire as we wait to be rescued.

Do you have Twitter, a Facebook page or website fans can follow?

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A Conversation with Silent Night Librettist Mark Campbell

Silent Night

We sat down with Mark Campbell, Librettist for Silent Night, and talked with him about his time working on the opera, and what it means for him.

What are two of the most memorable moments from the process leading up to opening night of Silent Night?

Two? Gosh, there are so many. I guess for me it was first hearing Audebert’s aria in Kevin’s living room. Hearing the orchestra bang out the battle scene in the orchestral workshop was also very thrilling.

What is one big (surprising) change that happened from the conception process to the final product? Any parts cut/added/changed?

Kevin and Dale both thought the original chorus of “Sleep” was too short. I initially balked, saying it might sound indulgent. (Yeah, like operas are never indulgent!). After the second workshop, I realized they were completely right and I had Kevin compose whatever he wanted and I set words to it. What no one knows about the Sleep chorus is that most of the lyrics are three syllables long. That wasn’t easy to do in German.

Since Silent Night premiered, have you  made any changes to the score?

There really hasn’t been a need to make any changes to the score of Silent Night. At Opera Philadelphia, there were a couple of very minor changes to a few words because of translation issues. But that’s it.

What opportunities have presented themselves to you personally because of the popularity of this work?

Well, Silent Night raised my profile significantly as a librettist, even though I had already written eight full-length operas before this. I think it has to do with it being at Minnesota Opera and the prestige the organization has. Speaking of Minnesota Opera, I am thrilled to have been commissioned to write the librettos for the 2015 and 2016 seasons: The Manchurian Candidate (with Kevin Puts) and The Shining (with Paul Moravec). I feel very lucky to have landed both of these amazing new operas.

We’re thrilled to have you back, and teaming up with Kevin Puts! What’s working with him like? What are you two working on now?

Kevin and I are working very busily on an operatic adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate, based on the novel by Richard Condon. It is a very exciting political thriller and Kevin and I hope to create an opera that makes the pulse of an audience race. We are also going to write a chamber opera for Opera Philadelphia based on a terrifying novel by Peter Ackroyd called The Trial of Elizabeth Cree, directed by David Schweizer. I personally hope I get to work with Kevin as long as he wants to work with me!

In your operas you don’t waste a word — everything has meaning. How do you compose operas that are so succinct?

I write with many traditional forms of opera in mind: the aria, the ensemble, etc. I don’t write librettos that end up just being sung plays which I think is bringing about the death of opera. I have a quotation framed near my workspace; it’s by the writer Annie Dillard and many people think it sounds morbid, but I certainly don’t: “Write as if you are dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case.” I translate this as “Don’t waste anyone’s time—it’s too goddam precious.”

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Reflections from the Western Front – Andrew Wilkowske (Ponchel)


The hardest scene to stage was the truce scene at the end of Act I.  My part was to climb up a metal ladder to the top of the French bunker and peer out into no-man’s-land. I had very strong hamstrings at the end because I must have spent about 20 hours standing on that thing. It was time well spent because the scene ended up working beautifully. It was a good thing we spent all that time rehearsing because when we got on stage with the orchestra, from where I was standing on top of the ladder, the ONLY thing I could hear was the bagpipe (who was playing offstage). The bagpipe plays in a different key than the French soldiers’ music, so I had to just trust in all those hours of work that I would somehow make myself not listen to the bagpipe and sing the right notes!

The first day we rehearsed my [spoiler alert] death scene, I was so into it my helmet flew off and I smacked my head on the floor. I was convinced I had concussed myself.

Every night I had the best seat in the house to hear Bill Burden’s Act II aria, and every night he made Karin Wolverton cry. I will never forget that.

We spent the first several days of rehearsal sitting at the table, reading through the libretto, and discussing our characters. That is luxury that rarely happens in opera, and it made all the difference.

I remember at the very first workshop when I heard the chorus sing the “Sleep Chorus” … everyone in the room knew we were working on a very special piece.

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Will Ye Go to Flanders?

The following post was written by Minnesota Opera’s former Head of Music Mary Dibbern, who is currently Music Director of Education and Family Programs for The Dallas Opera. She will be language and music coach for the co-production of Silent Night with the Fort Worth Opera in 2014. Her travels around France the winter before the premiere of Silent Night took her to the French-Belgian border near Ypres, the site of the Christmas truce that inspired the movie and the opera.

Stories surrounding the opera, Silent Night.

Part One

“Will ye go tae Flanders” is a traditional Scottish folksong from the beginning of the 18th century. In the version below, photos of the unspeakable horror of the WW I battlefields in and around Ypres (“Ieper” in Flemish) and Passchendale are shown so quickly that one can barely keep up with the details. The sadness, the waste, the unspeakable horror of what happened in Belgium…a country that has such a long history of being invaded and devastated.

Minnesota Opera’s New Works Initiative production of Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell is set mainly in “the bunkers of a battlefield near the French-Belgian border around Christmas, 1914.” The libretto, an adaptation of the French film Joyeux Noël, is a compilation of true stories, all of which occurred wholly or in part, during the various Christmas truces of 1914. In December of 2010, I traveled to northern France and Belgium in order to find out more about the locations of the truces, hoping to see some of them with my own eyes. As luck would have it, I was able to contact a battlefield tour guide who is a specialist on the Christmas truce, and was one of the consultants for the BBC documentary The Christmas Truce.

I was in Texas, rather desperately sending emails to all of the battlefield guides for that area, knowing that I would arrive in France in a few days, and wanted to make sure I found the right person. Sending as many emails as possible was a bit of a “Hail Mary” pass into cyberspace. Two days before my flight, I awoke in the middle of the night and went online. “Dear Mary, I am Annette Linthout. I am the person you need for your battlefield tour.” She went on to explain that she and her husband, Christian Delplace, had a B & B near Ypres, Belgium, the site of some of the Christmas truces, and that she was an expert in the subject. Not knowing much more than that, I told my trusty friend and travel companion Margaret P. to get ready for an adventure. We met in Normandy and a few days later were on the train for Lille, France, where Christian had arranged to pick us up.

To be honest, I did not even know where Ypres was . . . just that it was somewhere north of the French border. I was not aware of its proud and sad history. My eyes were opened by this two day trip and I found the key to unlock many of the questions I had about the Christmas truce as it related to Silent Night. When Annette told me in her next emails that she would outline a battlefield tour that included the sites of the Bruce Bairnsfather truce, Hill 60, the museum of Ypres and sites in France near Fromelles and Frelinghen, I had to take her word that this was what I was looking for. And it was!

There followed two intense days of visits to truce sites, discussion with archivists in the museums in Ypres and Messen, an amazing moment in the Menin Gate memorial while three buglers played The Last Post, a visit to the Irish Peace Project, a chance meeting with archeologist Martin Brown as he led the team to excavate trenches in frozen fields, and hours of discussions about the Christmas truces. Where did they take place, what do they mean for us today?

I will explore several of these themes in subsequent posts. Below is a very important scene from the film Joyeux Noël. This is a key scene in our opera, Silent Night. It is December 24, 1914. The weary and wounded soldiers from Scotland, France and Germany are in their cold, wet trenches, trying not to think too much about Christmas celebrations taking place in their respective homes all over Europe. Suddenly, music is heard across No Man’s Land. A German opera singer, now a soldier, starts to sing along with the bagpipes of Father Palmer, a Scottish pastor. Barely daring to believe that they are making music together, they eventually crawl to the edges of the trenches. The Scots and French see the small Christmas trees (Flammenschwert) that Germans have sent to their soldiers and that are now posed on top of the trench walls. These trees, with lit candles, frighten the opposing soldiers at first. They did not know what a Christmas tree was, this was a German tradition. Some soldiers thought it was a new kind of weapon, or some kind of trick. However, the German opera singer, Nicholas Sprink, who will be played by American tenor William Burden, takes his courage in his heart and crawls out of the trench, walking into No Man’s Land with the tree held high, singing a Christmas song. Gradually the other soldiers venture out of their trenches to meet him, and the Christmas Truce of 1914 has begun.

There are two real stories of opera singers in the trenches during Christmas 1914.

Our character, Sprink, is based upon the German heldentenor, Walther Kirschhoff, who was not enlisted, but was sent by the Crown Prince to the German trenches to entertain the troops for Christmas Eve. A soldier on the opposing side recognized the famous tenor’s voice, and started to applaud. This began an exchange which resulted in Kirschhoff climbing up to the top of the trench to see who was applauding him, and a truce began.

Another operatic tenor who was an enlisted soldier started a Christmas truce on his part of the front. This was Victor Granier of the Paris Opera. German soldiers, the Wurttembergers of the 246th Reserve Regiment of Infantry filed their official report as follows:  “Was it possible? Were the French really going to leave us in peace today, Christmas Eve?  Then from across the way came the sound of a festive song – a Frenchman was singing a Christmas carol with a marvelous tenor voice. Everyone lay still, listening in the quiet of the night. Was it our imagination or is it maybe meant to lull us into a false sense of security? Or was it in fact the victory of God’s love over all human conflict?”

I leave you with one more clip from a dramatization of the Christmas truce. This is a version without music from the film Oh, What a Lovely War.

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“They trade booze, tell stories” – first impressions of the November 10, 2011 ‘Silent Night’ Final Dress Rehearsal

Preparing for the PBS broadcast of Silent Night on Friday, December 13, has been a sentimental  step back into the archives for many of us at Minnesota Opera. It’s hard to believe that it has been a little more than two years since the final dress rehearsals of this incredible opera.

For this “Throwback Thursday” post, following are some reflections from that Thursday night in November from the bloggers and comic book artists who were in attendance.

Diana Green 1

“The work, based on a true incident from WWI, tells of three troops- one Scots, one German, and one French- who agree to a truce for Christmas eve, and find themselves unable to fight thereafter. The music and acting were stunning in their beauty. I was moved to quiet tears more than once.” - Diana Green 

Diana Green 2

Jeremiah Halonie 2

“Once again, the MN Opera put on an amazing performance. As usual, it’s difficult to draw when the action is so amazing, you want to just lose yourself in what’s going on on-stage, but add to that the incredible sets and music this time around, and I had the most difficult time yet trying to draw what was going on and not just watch. Thanks again to everyone who made this possible! ” - Jeremiah Halonie

Jeremiah Halonie 1

Joel A Vollmer 2

“Opera has been in residence in iTunes for quite some time now, but never before has an entire opera graced my  ears, nor have I ever seen one live. Until last Thursday evening and the world premiere of Silent Night, an operatic rendition of the 2005 movie Joyeux Noel. It relates the tale of British, French, and German soldiers during World War I who disobeyed orders and spent the holiday not killing each other. The experience was, in a word, big. The staging, production and vocals were brilliant.” - Joel Vollmer

Joel A Vollmer 1

Kate Saturday 1

“I’m always amazed by the strength and simplicity of the sets at MN Opera, but Silent Night went way beyond previous shows. I was amazed by how viewpoint and sympathy could shift as the stage rotated, and how dropping a window onto the battlefield could transform it into a mansion while retaining the sense of lonliness and fragility.” Kate Saturday

Kate Saturday 2


Lee Blauersouth 2


“The MN Opera company was kind enough to let myself and several other comic artists in to yet another of their final full dress rehearsals this past week, so we could sketch, and tell you all how awesome it was. Thankfully, it was, as usual, pretty dang awesome. In fact, it was one of my favorites so far. The show was brand new, and commissioned by the opera company and was one of only 3 new, premiering operas in the US this whole year. It was called Silent Night,and was about the Christmas eve truce in WWI, between the French, the Germans, and the Scotts. It was surprisingly light on religious overtones, and focused more on the very human and earthy motivations and interactions of the men and women involved.” - Lee Blauersouth

Lee Blauersouth 1

Thomas Boguszewski 1

“All the soldiers convene and mingle.  They trade booze, tell stories, play soccer, and do other fun things to cut the tension of wanting nothing but to murder each other moments before.  Horstmayer finds Audebert’s wallet and gives it to him, solidifying their friendship.” Thomas Boguszewski

Thomas Boguszewski 2

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Minnesota Operacast: Episode 2

Welcome to the second episode of Minnesota Operacast, your look inside the world of opera. This episode is hosted by President and General Director Kevin Ramach, Artistic Director Dale Johnson, and Teaching Artist Bergen Baker.

We go indepth about the Red Wing Community Residency, some of the generous grants we’ve recently received, and recall a few of those “good ol’ stories” about the previous run outs we’ve done.

Minnesota Operacast: Episode 2

[Download the MP3]

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Tempo 10 with Leslie Carey


Get to know one of our Tempo board members through these 10 questions.

Q: Why are you involved in Tempo?
A: Opera is an important storytelling art form I would like to last beyond my generation (and Tempo members just have a good time in general).

Q: How would you describe Tempo to someone who has never heard of it?
A: A fun way for 20- and 30-somethings to mingle and enjoy opera together.

Q: What’s the most memorable production at Minnesota Opera you’ve seen, and why did you enjoy it?
A: I adored the 2011 MN Opera production of La Traviata – a gorgeous, classic piece and Elizabeth Futral knocked everyone’s socks off.

Q: Besides classical music, what types of music are you into?
A: My taste is fairly broad, everything from old big band and jazz to ’70s Motown and R&B to indie folk and rock. I love old sounds with a new twist.

Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I’m a marketing and project manager in K-12 education.

Q: If you had to choose a different field of work, what would you pick?
A: In another life I would be a chocolatier (and may yet…) or some other artisan food-crafter.

Q: What is your favorite Twin Cities hangout?
A: St. Anthony Main is just dripping with charm – the cobblestone road, vintage theater, patio eateries and unrivaled views of downtown Minneapolis and the Stone Arch Bridge. I love it.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: “True Blood.”

Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: My passport.

Q: When and where are you happiest?
A: Living out of a bag while traveling internationally.

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Minnesota Operacast: Episode 1 — The Power of the Mess

mnoperacast1picWelcome to the first episode of Minnesota Operacast, your look inside the world of opera. Hosted by Michael Christie and Rob Ainsley, this podcast will bring you enlightening conversations with the people that make opera happen, from directors to the stars of the show. Join us in our first episode as we talk with director Michael Cavanagh about Manon Lescaut and “the power of the mess.”

Minnesota Operacast: Episode 1 — The Power of the Mess

[Download the MP3]

Note: In the coming days the podcast will be made available through iTunes and other distribution channels. We expect to produce at least two podcast a month.

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Tempo 10 with Polina Saprygina

ah-polina-9-25-13Get to know one of our Tempo board members through these 10 questions.

Polina has been a Tempo Member for 3 years and a board member for 2

Q: Why are you involved in Tempo?
A: It’s a great way to learn about opera, and they throw really fun parties.

Q: How would you describe Tempo to someone who has never heard of it?
A: Tempo is a community of opera newbies and opera connoisseurs who work together to promote the opera art form and make it more approachable to the young generation.

Q: What’s the most memorable Minnesota Opera production you’ve seen, and why did you enjoy it?
A: Manon Lescaut - Kelly Kaduce has such a breathtaking voice, I really enjoyed her performance. But I am looking forward to seeing Magic Flute at the end of the season because I’m really intrigued by the animation techniques Komische Oper Berlin uses.

Q: Besides classical music, what types of music are you into?
A: Pretty much anything and everything; I’m a bit of a junkie in that sense.

Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I do IT Audit for a medical device company

Q: If you had to choose a different field of work, what would you pick?
A: I’d be a cat sitter. I love cats!

Q: What is your favorite Twin Cities hangout?
A: Muddy Waters in uptown

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: I love cheese

Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: Not really a possession – but I treasure most my family, relatives and friends. For everything else there is MasterCard :)

Q: When and where are you happiest?
A: On the opening night of the opera, in the Ordway :)

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Manon Lescaut: A Beginner’s Guide

Manon Lescaut

If you were lucky enough to have tickets to April’s Turandot at the Ordway, or see La Boheme at Opera Under the Stars in June, or even Madame Butterfly two years ago, you already have an understanding of the experience Minnesota Opera produces with Giacomo Puccini’s music. His work has everything Italian Opera should be: desperately passionate lovers, a romantic spirit coupled with intense realism, some comic relief to break the tension, and music that swells the heart of every person who hears it.

Manon Lescaut is no exception. The opera opens with a drinking song – Parisian youth singing about the pleasures of being young. We’re off to a good start.

But who is Manon? Just your typical heroine: young, beautiful and full of joie de vivre. She’s off to a convent but first meets a poor young man — she falls instantly in love, of course — and a rich old man who can buy her anything she wants. Both try to convince Manon to come with them.

Who does she choose? What does she choose? Why is the life of a beautiful girl in Paris so tremendously difficult?

Is it love? Is it jewelry? Is it the church?

The church didn’t have a chance. It’s jewelry for a while, but then she decides love is her true passion. Manon leaves her rich benefactor for her young lover but without wealth or power the pair are banished to the wastelands of New Orleans.

Manon dies in the arms of her true love, happy at least. And our story is over. There’s not a dry eye in the house. It’s not happily ever after and yet you’re overjoyed that she made the right choice, even if it took a few mistakes along the way.

The opera is in Italian — but the English translations are projected above the stage. And the emotions cross time, space, and language barriers without worry.

Toast to the opening of another fantastic Opera Season afterwards at ZsaZsa Magnifique! Tickets are available now.


Taste Test: Manon

Appearance: Sumptuous period costumes; Courtesans, soldiers, & drinking.

Aroma: Belle Époque; French Couture; Diamonds

Mouth: Passionate & dark, yet conflicted

Talking Points: Kelly Kaduce stars as Manon, and you’ve recently seen her in other Puccini classics at Minnesota Opera – Turandot and Madame Butterfly.

For those who like: Being carried away by music & love stories; Rose & Jack in Titanic; La Bohème

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