Stephen King's The Shining Adapted Into a Opera

Over the years, many famous books have been adapted into operas—The Great Gatsby, Lolita, and The Handmaid’s Tale, to name a few. Most recently, Stephen King fans were able to check out a musical adaptation of The Shining, performed by the Minnesota Opera in the state’s capital city of St. Paul last week, NPR reports.

Sadly, the two-hour show only ran from May 7 to 15, and no future performances have been officially announced. However, if sold-out tickets and glowing reviews are any indication, opera lovers who missed The Shining’s premiere run might someday be able to enjoy future performances of the production.

Curious how The Shining made it from page to stage? A few years ago, Minnesota Opera’s artistic director, Dale Johnson, and stage director Eric Simonson decided they wanted to commission a horror opera, MinnPost reports. (The Shining is part of the Minnesota Opera’s New Works Initiative, an initiative to lure new audiences by backing and premiering fresh new operas.)

Simonson suggested The Shining, and composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell were hired to transform the quirky idea into a reality. Eventually, the creative duo received approval from King to adapt his best-selling 1977 novel into opera form.

The production isn’t based on Stanley Kubrick’s similarly-titled 1980 movie starring Jack Nicholson—mainly because “the movie is not operatic at all,” Campbell told MinnPost. “There’s no journey of any character.” However, he “went back and read the novel and thought, ‘This is a very exciting idea for an opera.’”

The opera’s libretto is faithful to the novel’s plot. It tells the story of Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic who slowly descends into madness while working as winter caretaker at the haunted Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. While snowed in after a bad winter storm, the hotel’s spirits urge him to kill his wife and son. According to Moravec and Campbell, their adaptation is just as scary—if not more so—than the book.

The Shining sold out weeks before its first performance on May 7. However, you can still listen to snippets of the show via the video above, courtesy of Classicalite.

[h/t NPR]

Banner image courtesy of iStock.

The Most Popular Netflix Show in Every Country
most popular Netflix show in each country map
most popular Netflix show in each country map key

If you're bored with everything in your Netflix queue, why not look to the top shows around the world for a recommendation? recently used Google Trends data to create a map of the most popular show streaming on Netflix in every country in 2018. The best-loved show in the world is the dystopian thriller 3%, claiming the number one spot in eight nations. The show is the first Netflix original made in Portuguese, so it's no surprise that Portugal and Brazil are among the eight countries that helped put it at the top of the list.

Coming in second place is South Korea's My Love from the Star, which seven countries deemed their favorite show. The romantic drama revolves around an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with a mortal. The English-language show with the most clout is 13 Reasons Why, coming in at number three around the world—which might be proof that getting addicted to soapy teen dramas is a universal experience.

Pot comedy Disjointed is Canada's favorite show, which probably isn't all that surprising given the nation's recent ruling to legalize marijuana. Perhaps coming as even less of a shock is the phenomenon of Stranger Things taking the top spot in the U.S. Favorites like Black Mirror, Sherlock, and The Walking Dead also secured the love of at least one country.

Out of the hundreds of shows on the streaming platform, only 47 are a favorite in at least one country in 2018. So no hard feelings, Gypsy.

Roadside Bear Statue in Wales is So Lifelike That Safety Officials Want It Removed

Wooden bear statue.

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become a cause of concern. As The Telegraph reports, the statue is so convincing that it's scaring drivers, causing at least one motorist to crash her car. Now road safety officials are demanding it be removed.

The 10-foot wooden statue has been a fixture on the roadside for at least 15 years. It made headlines in May of 2018 when a woman driving her car saw the landmark and took it to be the real thing. She was so startled that she veered off the road and into a street sign.

After the incident, she complained about the bear to highways officials who agreed that it poses a safety threat and should be removed. But the small town isn't giving in to the Welsh government's demands so quickly.

The bear statue was originally erected on the site of a now-defunct wool mill. Even though the mill has since closed, locals still see the statue as an important landmark. Llanwrtyd Wells councilor Peter James called it an "iconic gateway of the town," according to The Telegraph.

Another town resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph that the woman who crashed her car had been a tourist from Canada where bears are common. Bear were hunted to extinction in Britain about 1000 years ago, so local drivers have no reason to look out for the real animals on the side of the road.

The statue remains in its old spot, but Welsh government officials plan to remove it themselves if the town doesn't cooperate. For now, temporary traffic lights have been set up around the site of the accident to prevent any similar incidents.

[h/t The Telegraph]


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