Kevin Puts wins 2012 Pulitzer Prize for SILENT NIGHT

A stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart. Silent Night is in two acts by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, based on the 2005 film Joyeux Noël, directed by Christian Carion and produced by Nord-Ouest Production. Commissioned by Minnesota Opera with co-producer Opera Company of Philadelphia, it opened on November 12, 2011 at the Ordway Theater, St. Paul Minnesota to great critical acclaim and standing-room-only houses for the entirety of its run. The opera is sung in English, German, French, Italian and Latin.

Watch a Feature about the Minnesota Opera Production:

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION TEAM

Conductor Michael Christie
Director Eric Simonson
Set Design Francis O’Connor
Lighting Marcus Dilliard
Costumes Kärin Kopischke
Projections Andrzej Goulding

ORIGINAL CAST

THE GERMAN SIDE

Nikolaus Sprink, an opera singer William Burden
Anna Sørensen, his lover Karin Wolverton
Lieutenant Horstmayer Craig Irvin
Kronprinz, son of Kaiser Wilhelm II A. J. Glueckert

THE SCOTTISH SIDE

Jonathan Dale John Robert Lindsey
William Dale, his brother Michael Nyby
Father Palmer Troy Cook
Lieutenant Gordon Gabriel Preisser
The British Major Joseph Beutel

THE FRENCH SIDE

Lieutenant Audebert Liam Bonner
Ponchel, his aide-de-camp Andrew Wilkowske
The General Ben Wager
Madeleine, Lt. Audebert’s wife Angela Mortellaro

German, Scottish and French soldiers

ORCHESTRATION

3 flutes (2, 3 doubling piccolo)
2 oboes
English horn in F
3 clarinets in B-flat (all doubling clarinet in A; 2. doubling E-flat clarinet, 3. doubling bass clarinet in B-flat)
2 bassoons
contrabassoon

4 horns in F
3 trumpets in C
2 trombones,
bass trombone
tuba

timpani
3 percussion

piano doubling celesta (may be performed on a single keyboard)
harp

harmonica
bagpipes
onstage string quartet

strings

REDUCED ORCHESTRATION

2 flutes (both doubling piccolo)
2 oboes (2nd doubling english horn)
2 clarinets in B-flat (both doubling clarinet in A; 2nd doubling E-flat clarinet, and bass clarinet)
2 bassoons (2nd doubling contrabassoon)

4 horns in F
3 trumpets in C
2 trombones,
bass trombone

timpani
3 percussion

piano doubling celesta (may be performed on a single keyboard)
harp

harmonica
bagpipes
onstage string quartet

strings

PRODUCTIONS

  1. Minnesota Opera (Nov. 2011)
  2. Opera Company of Philadelphia (Feb. 2013)
  3. Fort Worth Opera (May 2014)
  4. Cincinnati Opera (July 2014)
  5. Wexford Festival Opera (Oct.-Nov. 2014)
  6. Calgary Opera (Nov. 2014)
  7. Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Feb.-March 2015)
  8. Opera de Montreal (May 2015)
  9. Atlanta Opera (Nov. 2016)
  10. Michigan Opera Theatre (Nov. 2016)
  11. Opera San Jose (Feb. 2017)
  12. Piedmont Opera (Oct. 2017)
  13. Austin Opera (Jan. 2019)

LICENSING

To inquire about licensing Silent Night for performance, please fill out a request here.

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Silent Night