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Will 'The Shining' still terrify audiences in opera form?

Redrum! Stephen King's famed story comes to the stage, minus the blood-filled elevator (we hope).


Brian Mulligan sings the role of Jack Torrance in "The Shining" opera.

Minnesota Opera

You know the story of "The Shining," Stephen King's famous 1977 horror novel and the 1980 movie. Troubled writer Jack Torrance holes up with his wife and young son for a long cold winter in the spooky Overlook Hotel. Throw in Jack's creeping madness, son Danny's psychic powers and flashbacks to bloody horrors, and the family's cozy winter getaway unravels in scenes that have been called some of the most frightening ever put to page and screen.

Now those terrifying times are coming to the stage, and it ain't over till Wendy Torrance sings. The Minnesota Opera is bringing King's novel to life in a new opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell. "The Shining" opera opens Saturday at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, and tickets are already standing-room only.

Don't expect those creepy twins, blood gushing from an elevator and Jack crashing through a doorway with an ax shouting, "Heeeeere's Johnny!" The opera is based not on the film, but on King's tense and terrifying novel. "So many people joked with me about how we were going to set 'Heeeeere's Johnny!' But we didn't have to, because it's not in the book," Campbell told MinnPost.

The show should play to appreciative audiences. If anyone knows how a long snowy winter can drive you slowly insane, it's Minnesotans all the way.