Another Epic Story: MN Opera's Wuthering Heights Breathtaking

In a week filled with epic storytelling (yes, that story), it seems fitting to lose yourself in more of the same. And I can’t think of a better way to do so than to find yourself caught up in the story of Cathy and Heathcliff as The Minnesota Opera presents Wuthering Heights.

This just in!

Minnesota Opera is giving away a limited number of free tickets to the Thursday, April 21, 2011, 7:30pm performance of Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights to followers of the bloggers who attended the Opera’s “Blogger Preview Night.” Be a part of Minnesota Opera history as they record this new production in HD video for a future national and international release. Call the Ticket Office at 612-333-6669, by 6pm, and reference “Wuthering Heights Blogger Preview.” Let them know TC Jewfolk sent you for your chance to score a free seat.

Emily Brontë’s gothic romance comes to life against a score composed by Academy award-winning (Jewish) American composer Bernard Herrmann who is probably best known for his collaboration on Alfred Hitchcock flicks. If you’re familiar with the story, you know that it’s a bit of a downer and Minnesota Opera manages to catch all the haunting spookiness by the stunning use of lighting and projection effects that did indeed blow my mind, just as Conductor Michael Christie promised they would. But just because Wuthering Heights isn’t exactly uplifting doesn’t mean you should shy away – especially if you’re a bit of an opera newbie like I am.

I found the production to be breathtaking and surprisingly accessible to somebody unfamiliar with the genre. It helps that the storyline is familiar and that captions are available above the stage – even though this opera is sung in English, there were times that my untrained ear had a bit of hard time catching an unfamiliar word or two (it is a Brontë story after all…).

And if you’re already an opera aficionado, you’d probably get a kick out of the fact that:

  • Composer Bernard Herrmann penned part of the opera here in Minnesota
  • This is only the second time Wuthering Heights has made it onstage: the opera premiered in Portland in 1982 (a few years after Herrmann’s death) and Minnesota Opera’s production is the first since then
  • Minnesota Opera’s production in 2011 marks the centenary anniversary of Herrmann’s death birth
  • Wuthering Heights quotes several musical themes from Herrmann’s film scores

Newbies and aficionados alike will enjoy the show. Two performances remain, so get your tickets for either Thursday, April 21 (7:30pm) or Saturday, April 23 (7:30pm) and head to The Ordway for a production you won’t soon forget. Don’t take my word for it – check out what these fellow Minnesota bloggers had to say.