Minnesota Opera announces it will co-commission “Cold Mountain”


 

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ah-higdon-250px-5-6-14Minnesota Opera is pleased to announce it will present Cold Mountain, a new opera by the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner in music, Jennifer Higdon. This co-commission and co-produced opera with The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia is based on the eponymous bestselling novel by Charles Frazier. Cold Mountain is the powerful account of one soldier, W. P. Inman, who deserts the Confederate Army as the war is coming to an end and makes his way back to his home on Cold Mountain. The novel won the 1997 National Book Award and was made into a film in 2003, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards. The Santa Fe Opera will present the world premiere in the summer of 2015, which marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Minnesota Opera tentatively plans to stage the opera in its 2018-2019 season.

Cold Mountain is part of Minnesota Opera’s New Works Initiative, a program designed to invigorate the opera repertoire with an infusion of new and contemporary works. Previously announced Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative commissions include The Manchurian Candidate, by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, based on the novel by Richard Condon (world premiere March 2015) and The Shining, by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell, based on the novel by Stephen King (world premiere May 2016).

 

About Cold Mountain’s creators

Cold Mountain composer Jennifer Higdon is one of the most in-demand composers today. She was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto and a Grammy the same year for her Percussion Concerto. blue cathedral, written in 2000, on the death of her brother, has become one of the most performed modern orchestral works. Her compositions have been performed by leading orchestras throughout the country and she has received commissions from numerous instrumental ensembles.

The versatile American librettist and composer Gene Scheer is the librettist. Among his many projects are several with composer Jake Heggie, the latest being Moby Dick for the Dallas Opera which was premiered in 2010. He collaborated with Tobias Picker on two operas, An American Tragedy premiered at the Metropolitan Opera, and Therese Raquin for the Dallas Opera. He has written songs for singers including Renée Fleming, Sylvia McNair and Stephanie Blythe, and a song cycle, Voices from World War II for Nathan Gunn.