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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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