Utah Arts Review – Utah Opera brings war and peace to the stage with “Silent Night”
by Catherine Reese Newton
So — here’s a spoiler — no one sings “Silent Night” in Silent Night.
One of the opera’s stars, baritone Craig Irvin, thinks he knows why: Including the beloved carol would take the audience out of the sound world created for this reimagining of a real-life Christmas truce in World War I, Irvin said in an interview.
The composer, Kevin Puts, offered his own reason: While the opera’s title evokes the song, Puts said in an interview, it is more broadly about “a night without bombs.”
On that night in 1914, peace broke out in the middle of a war when soldiers from Germany, France and the United Kingdom met in no man’s land to share treats, games and songs. The dramatization of that brief armistice by Puts and librettist Mark Campbell opens Saturday at Utah Opera.