A recent feature in The New York Times
centers on the Minnesota Opera’s
premiere of “Doubt,” which opens January 26 and runs through Feb. 3.
According to the article, playwright John Patrick Shanley was initially skeptical of the idea of rewriting the show, which had been a play and an award-winning movie, into an opera libretto.
But it turned out to be a rewarding experience, Shanley says. “There’s a lot of feelings that could not be expressed in the play because of its austerity,” he says, adding, “But opera, even when it is austere, is as rich as chocolate cake. So that allowed me to go back and express a lot of things that I could not before and still tell the story"--a story which centers on the nature of the relationship between a Catholic proest and a young African-American boy.
Preparing for production, the Minnesota Opera hosted a number of workshops for composer Douglas J. Cuomo, Shanley, and stage director Kevin Newbury, the story states.
Newbury says of the resulting show, “It isn’t just about doubt, it’s doubt brought to life onstage. And it’s a particularly American play with all the questions about class and race and religion rolled up into one.”