Dinner at Eight

Music by William Bolcom. Libretto by Mark Campbell. Based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber.


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And the party goes on ...

Manhattan socialite Millicent Jordan plans the perfect dinner party, but as her guests arrive, business intrigues and romantic entanglements are brought to light in this dark comedy. Dinner at Eight is a winning new work that charmingly weds American musical theater and opera.

Preliminary run time of 2 hours and 3 minutes, including one intermission.

Sung in English with English captions projected above the stage.

A world premiere and New Works Initiative production.

Individual tickets are available now!




  • Videos

  • Cast & Creative Team

    Read more about the performers on the stage and the people behind the scenes.

  • Program


  • Synopsis

    Socialite Millicent Jordan opens her morning mail while talking to her husband Oliver. She receives a radiogram from Lord and Lady Ferncliffe, who will soon arrive from England on the Aquitania. They have accepted an invitation to the Jordans for a dinner party and reception for the following Friday, and Millicent is jubilant. Immediately, she starts to imagine the guest list for the party, discussing various potential attendees with Oliver. Dr. Joseph and Lucy Talbot immediately spring to mind, as well as the celebrated actress Carlotta Vance who has recently returned to New York; Oliver also suggests inviting Dan Packard and his wife Kitty for reasons related to his business. The Jordans’ daughter, Paula, enters and avoids discussing her upcoming marriage and puts off a shopping trip with her mother scheduled for that afternoon. After Oliver and Paula leave for work, Millicent telephones the Talbots and the Packards and they eagerly accept the invitation to the party. Millicent imagines other details, like engaging an Austrian quartet for the evening and what will be on the menu that evening.

  • Costume and Set Renderings


  • Behind the Scenes

    Get an exclusive look at the orchestral workshop for this world premiere opera.

  • Community Events

    Get an inside look at Dinner at Eight in the weeks leading up to its world premiere, March 11-19, 2017, with these community events!

  • Listen

    Act 1 Prologue from Dinner at Eight

    “Ah well … it’s still a coup” from Dinner at Eight

    “Our town” from Dinner at Eight

    “In bed” from Dinner at Eight

    “Not the Larry Renault” from Dinner at Eight

    “Back on top” from Dinner at Eight

    “Act 2 Prologue” from Dinner at Eight

    “Don’t bother dear” from Dinner at Eight

    “I’ll divorce you” from Dinner at Eight

    Listen to A View From The Bridge, William Bolcom’s popular opera, on Spotify.

  • New Works Initiative

    The commission of Dinner at Eight continues the second generation of Minnesota Opera’s New Works Initiative. A pioneering movement in new opera when it was launched in 2008, the Initiative was designed to invigorate the operatic art form with an infusion of contemporary works and formalized Minnesota Opera’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), Doubt by Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley in 2013 and the political thriller, The Manchurian Candidate (also by Puts and Campbell), which will have its premiere in March 2015.

    Now in the penultimate year of that first phase, Minnesota Opera reveals the future of the New Works Initiative. This next iteration is being conceived as a 10-year program that will not only encompass major commissions like The Shining for its mainstage season at the Ordway, but endeavors to further invigorate the art form and expand its audience by creating new works conceived for non-traditional opera venues. To that end, a hallmark of this new program will be the creation of local and national partnerships to develop new ways of creating, workshopping and presenting opera. Programmatic plans will be released seasonally.

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This project is supported in part by




The Aaron Copland Fund for Music. Inc.


The Amphion Foundation, Inc.


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