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The Shining

Directed by: Brian Staufenbiel



Music by: Paul Moravec

Libretto by: Mark Campbell


Original Production

June 2023 - Opera Paralelle



Additional Production dates

September 2023 - The Atlanta Opera

 

DESIGNERS

Jacquelyn Scott- Scenic & Props Designer

Alina Bokovikova - Costume Designer

David Murakami - Projection Designer

Y. Sharon Peng - Hair & Makeup Designer

Jim French - Lighting Designer


ORIGINAL CAST

Nicole Paiement - Conductor

Robert Wesley Mason- Jack Torrence

Kearstin Pipera Brown - Wendy Torrence

Tenzin Forder - Danny Torrence

Michael Thompson - Danny Torrence

Kevin Deas - Dick Hallorann

David Walton - Delbert Grady/Stuart Ullman

Nathan Granner - Bill Watson/Lloyd the Bartender

Molly Mary Mahoney - Mrs. Massey

Christabel Nunoo - Mrs. Grady

Chung-Wai Soong - Senator

Daniel Cilli - Mark Torrence

J. Raymond Meyers - Crooner



Director's Note

The Shining - the Original Hotel California

To all appearances, The Shining's Overlook Hotel is, like the Hotel California of song, "a lovely place." But appearances in this story are deceiving . The Overlook harbors an illusory realm of terror within its cracked lath and plaster; horrific stories of murder and intrigue permeate its every fissure. The Overlook itself is a kind of character in our production, one whose ghostly inhabitants goad Jack Torrence to murder his son Danny so they can abscond with the boy' powerful extrasensory abilities - a gift Dick Hallorann's grandmother called "shining" - a kind of hyper-charged clairvoyance that allows Danny to hear other people's thoughts and communicate with the dead.


One of the great joys of creating a concept for this new production of The Shining was how deeply I could dive into the philosophical and aesthetic battle that takes place t the heart of the story. How often do we encounter an opera where two disparate aesthetics and philosophies make up the essence of the drama on stage? The Shining is that opera, and it inspired us to stretch our imaginations to explore the human condition by contrasting the aesthetics of realism against surrealism, along with their corresponding philosophies, naturalism and supernaturalism. Our design team focused on this juxtaposition and let is guide and delineate the multifaceted relationships with music, setting and characters throughout the production.


In the scenes ruled by naturalism, nothing exists beyond the natural world. Here the hotel is just a hotel. In this aesthetic of realism, Jack, Wendy, Danny, and Hallorann are ordinary living people - objective, accurate depictions of what seems to be. What you see on the surface is, simply, what is.


But then there is supernaturalism, which encompasses otherworldly realms and things that cannot be explained. In these scenes the Overlook comes alive with evil spirits that pursue our protagonists. The building itself appears to have a heartbeat and flows with blood. Even its structural supports can move. This aesthetic, surrealism, is thick with dreamlike visuals, symbolism, and hints of the unconscious.


In the end, this is a story about good and evil in which Jack must summon the deepest love and make the ultimate sacrifice, to put an end to a cycle of generational abuse, and save his family. For him, as the song has it, you can check out, but you can never leave.

 

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