Thursday, June 9, 2016

World Premiere of The Shining at MN Opera

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I recently had the distinct pleasure of sketching the final dress rehearsal of the MN Opera's world premiere of The Shining, an opera based on the novel by Stephen King. As a full dress rehearsal, all the house lights were down. So all of my sketches of the show itself were done in almost full darkness, with only the lights from the stage to show me the shine of wet paint on the page. It was a new sketching adventure that I hope to repeat again in the 2016-2017 opera season.

The evening started with a preshow talk about the musical themes and development of the work. The way the score builds and breaks down echoes the madness into which Jack Torrance descends. Scary, thrilling, and heartbreaking.
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Touring the Overlook Hotel. The boiler room; the boiler, "she creeps, she creeps."
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Danny and Mr. Hallorann, the hotel's cook, discuss the shining--their shared psychic ability.
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The inexorable draw of room 217.
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Jack meets Delbert Grady, the former caretaker who notoriously killed his family and himself in the hotel.
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Succumbed to the madness of the hotel, Jack tries to kill his wife, but she fends him off with a knife in the back.

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The ghosts of the Overlook Hotel, who have been the Greek chorus encouraging Jack's delusions, reprimand Jack's inability to kill ("take care") of his family.
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In the epilogue (I'll leave you to read the novel so I don't spoil the climax!), Wendy and Danny rest and recuperate after a terrible winter. Mr. Hallorann encourages Danny; "you're doing fine, little man. Just fine."
20160505 MNOpera-TheShining-You'reDoingFine


  1. Great sketches, Amber! Must have been very interesting to see this classic live on the stage! You captured the action well.

    1. Thanks, Tina! It was such a great production. I hope they decide to remount or tour it.


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