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Silent Night

Silent Night

Regular price $29.99 USD
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Kevin Puts is one of America’s most exciting and important composers. His first opera, Silent Night, with a libretto by Mark Campbell, was commissioned by Minnesota Opera. It premiered in 2011 and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. A work profound and sweeping emotional power, it has since entered the modern operatic repertoire with remarkable speed, enjoying world-wide performances. The opera is based on Christian Carion’s screen-play for the 2005 French war film Joyeux Noël, and its fictionalized subject is the series of Christmas truces on the Western Front in 1914.


American composer Kevin Puts’ first opera, Silent Night, with a libretto by Mark Campbell, was commissioned by Minnesota Opera, the house where this live recording was made. The opera's subject is the Christmas truce on the Western Front in 1914.

Various languages are used in the opera, German, French, English, Italian, and even Latin.

Puts and Campbell have packed the serious theme into a complex score, very colorful and modern in style, with painfully dissonant and wonderfully lyrical moments. Overall, the opera is good for an impressive musical experience, though the question is whether the visuals of the theatrical experience are missing from the audio recording. On the other hand, with just the audio there is more focus on the music, and it is, after all, quite expressive and convincingly performed in this live recording.

-- Pizzicato

As we have already heard in his orchestral works, Puts is a highly compelling and innovative orchestrator, and here he is equally compelling in the field of opera where he works within the conventions of solos, duets and choruses. They are then brought together by the British-born conductor, Courtney Lewis. It is not the type of story you can enjoy, but the opera, which takes two hours, must rank amongst the most outstanding staged in recent times. Add to this the ideally balanced recording, and it becomes self-recommending. The twin disc comes with English. This, and the slim two disc jewel case with notes on the artists, is then presented in a cardboard box.

– David's Review Corner (David Denton)

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Product Description:

  • Release Date: November 12, 2021

  • UPC: 730099905077

  • Catalog Number: 8669050-51

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 2

  • Period: Contemporary

  • Composer: Kevin Puts

  • Conductor: Courtney Lewis

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Minnesota Opera Chorus, Minnesota Opera Orchestra

  • Performer: Andrew Wilkowske, Charles Eaton, Christian Sanders, Christian Thurston, Danielle Beckvermit, Edward Parks, Joshua Jeremiah, Karin Wolverton, Miles Mykkanen, Nicholas Davis, Stephen Martin, Troy Cook, William Clay Thompson


  1. Silent Night

    Composer: Kevin Puts

    Ensemble: Minnesota Opera

    Conductor: Courtney Lewis