“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s gift sets the stage for the Initiative’s continuation and underscores the national importance of this landmark program for the development of new opera,” said Minnesota Opera President and General Director Kevin Ramach. “We are so grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its extraordinary support of our efforts to expand the art form. It is a great testament to the vitality of the operatic art form in the 21st century.”
A pioneering movement in new opera when it was launched in 2008, Minnesota Opera’s NWI was designed to invigorate the operatic art form with an infusion of contemporary works and formalized the company’s commitment to artistic growth, leadership and innovation. Its first iteration – a seven-season commitment to producing premieres and revivals of new works – funded the commissions of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night (Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell), 2013’s Doubt by Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley, and the upcoming political thriller, The Manchurian Candidate (also by Puts and Campbell), which will have its premiere in March 2015.
The recent generous gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation launches the second phase of the NWI with its major support of The Shining, by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell, based on the novel by Stephen King (scheduled for a world premiere in May 2016), and Dinner at Eight by William Bolcom and librettist Mark Campbell, based on the play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman (scheduled to premiere in 2017).