Pulitzer-Winning Opera Debuts on HoustonPBS

Liam Bonner as Lieutenant Audebert in the Minnesota Opera production of Silent Night. Photo: 2011 (c) Michal Daniel
Silent Night, the opera which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2012 for Amercian composer Kevin Puts, debuts Wednesday, December 18th, on HoustonPBS/Ch 8.2. One of the lead roles in the world première Minnesota Opera production was sung by Houston-based baritone Liam Bonner.  He talks to St.John Flynn about the opera.
 

Liam Bonner is a very busy baritone at the moment.  He recently returned to Houston Grand Opera (he is an HGO Studio alum) to sing Eisenstein in the superb production of Die Fledermaus, and in the new year he’ll be in Los Angeles where he’s taking the title role in the LA Opera production of Billy Budd.

Perhaps his favorite recent role though was as Lt. Audebert in Minnesota Opera’s fall 2011 world première production of the first opera by American composer Kevin Puts.  Silent Night, with a libretto by Mark Campbell, tells the moving, true story of a cease-fire agreed among Scottish, French and German troops fighting in the trenches at the front in the days leading up to Christmas 1914.

Puts won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music  for Silent Night, which is based on the film Joyeux Nöel, nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 in the foreign film category.

In his conversation with St.John Flynn, Bonner describes the experience of being part of a world première production, working with the composer, and singing a role that was so fulfilling.

You can watch Silent Night on HoustonPBS/Ch 8.2 (Comcast 323), Wednesday, December 18th at 7AM and again at 6:30PM.

There’s more about the opera, including video clips from the production, on the Minnesota Opera website.

And for more about Liam Bonner, check out his website.