The Minnesota Opera hosted a world premiere Saturday, January 26, at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. Doubt, the acclaimed one-act play and Hollywood hit, took the stage for the first time as an opera. The plot remains the same—it’s 1964 at a Catholic school in the Bronx, and the head nun accuses the priest of sexually abusing a black boy—as does the writer: John Patrick Shanley, who has shepherded his script through each iteration.
Worth, Brewer, and Zabala; By michal daniel
According to opera aficionado (and Minnesota Monthly publisher) Steve Fox, the “set (designed by Robert Brill) was phenomenal—absolutely stunning,” just like the talent on stage. For the production, Minnesota Opera artistic director Dale Johnson brought in the best of the best: Grammy Award-winning soprano Christine Brewer (Sister Aloyisius), worldwide vocal phenom Denyce Graves (Mrs. Miller), baritone Matthew Worth (Father Flynn), and MN Opera vet Adriana Zabala (Sister James). Internationally published composer Douglas Cuomo wrote the music for the show, and is also credited with approaching Shanley about the idea to turn Doubt into an opera a few years ago.
I have yet to see the production (I’m going Sunday, February 3), but if it’s half as good as its play or movie counterparts, I’m sure it will be fantastic. If you’ve never been to an opera, this is the perfect chance to dip your toe in. You already know the story, it’s in English, and you can say you saw it first—literally.
Playing January 29 and 31, 7:30 p.m.; February 2, 8 p.m.; February 3, 2 p.m.
Ordway Center, 345 Washington St., St. Paul