By: Jessica Clifford
Celebration is in the air at the Piedmont Opera, with their 40th anniversary season opening to Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s modern opera, Silent Night. The Winston-Salem-based venue is the smallest opera company to perform this production.
Silent Night retells the events from World War I, when a ceasefire took place between enemies on Christmas Eve. Soldiers from both sides come together in camaraderie by sharing stories and gifts, while the soldiers’ superiors feel torn by the need to continue the war and the desire to find peace.
The play will be conducted by James Allbritten, the Piedmont Opera’s dual artistic and general director. In conjunction with Allbritten, will be director Cynthia Stokes and designer Norman Coates, who is the director of lighting at The School of Design and Production at University North Carolina School of the Arts.
“Audiences may want tried and true standard repertoire that reflects the history of our art form,” Allbritten said. “However, if we are to be truly relevant and ‘advance the art form,’ we need to provoke thoughtful reflection upon contemporary issues, as well. We feel that our upcoming production of Silent Night will help to fulfill these aspects of our mission.”
The Opera said they have “been challenging its audiences with a wider variety of repertoire over the last ten years,” and they believe Silent Night is in line with this goal.
This production is not only in celebration of the Piedmont Opera’s own anniversary, but it is in remembrance of WWI’s 100th anniversary.
The show begins Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. and will also run Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. and Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at UNCSA’s Stevens Center in Winston-Salem. For tickets, visit the Opera’s website at PiedmontOpera.org or call 336.725.7101.