Silent Night

Welcome to the Silent Night Education Resources page!

Austin Opera’s season continues with the company premiere of the Pulitzer Prize–winning modern classic Silent Night, January 26–February 3, 2019, at the Long Center.

The opera, with music by Kevin Puts and a libretto by Mark Campbell (The Manchurian Candidate, 2016), is based on the 2005 film Joyeux Noël, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. A stellar cast and creative team join forces in Austin to present this powerful vision of humanity and hope.

Silent Night recounts a miraculous moment of peace during one of the bloodiest wars in human history. The year is 1914 and the Great War has just been declared, dividing nations and sending millions into battle. As Christmas Eve falls on a battle field near Belgium, soldiers in French, German, and Scottish trenches begin recalling songs of home, stepping into no-man’s-land for a spontaneous truce. Once sworn enemies, they trade their weapons for merriment and camaraderie—resulting in one miraculous night of peace.

Since its world premiere at Minnesota Opera in 2011, Silent Night has been produced at opera companies around the world; Austin Opera’s performances happen in time to celebrate 100 years since the end of World War I.

The opera is sung in five languages: English, Italian, French, German and Latin.  There will be English supertitles.
Run of Show: Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one 25-minute intermission

PLEASE NOTE: THIS OPERA CONTAINS SOME DRAMATIC WAR COMBAT SEQUENCES – including theatrical haze, strobe lighting, loud explosions gun shots and stabbings.
Not recommended for young and/or sensitive viewers.

Access Opera: Silent Night Curriculum

Access Opera: Silent Night Curriculum

Access Opera: Silent Night PowerPoint

NOTE – A redemption code is required to open the Access Opera: Silent Night PowerPoint. Email derck@austinopera.org to request your redemption code.

Austin Opera’s Access Opera: Silent Night curriculum is an innovative multi-media based unit, complete with TEKS aligned lessons, activities, assessments and video excerpts. This curriculum is designed so you can teach Silent Night in the time frame that works best for you and your students. Designate an entire class period and share the complete lesson using the accompanying PowerPoint. Teach it in chunks.  Here is what that might look like:

  • Day 1 – Background (composer info, synopsis) and first listen of featured music selection
  • Day 2 – Listen a 2nd time, including suggested activities/assessments from the lesson
  • Day 3 & beyond – Listen to some of the alternate versions; try a new activity/assessment; explore SEL connection; Go over Audience Etiquette materials

Silent Night: At a Glance – A quick overview of the opera

Silent Night STORY SYNOPSIS

Silentnightopera.com – The “official” website for the opera, Silent Night.
http://silentnightopera.com/index.html

ABOUT THE OPERA – List of characters, orchestration and synopsis
http://silentnightopera.com/about.html

PRESS – a long list of reviews and articles about the opera from various productions and performances since the premiere in 2012.
http://silentnightopera.com/press.html

MEDIA – a large collection of video excerpts from various productions, including interviews with composer, Kevin Puts.
http://silentnightopera.com/media.html

All about Kevin Puts, composer – a link to the official website of composer Kevin Puts. http://www.kevinputs.com/bio-short.html

All about Mark Campbell, librettist – a link to the official website of librettist Mark Campbell.
https://www.markcampbellwords.com/

Minnesota Opera YouTube list for Silent Night – a comprehensive offering of video clips

THE CAST
Check out the websites of the singers performing in Austin Opera’s production of Silent Night!

THE GERMAN SIDE

Joseph Dennis Headshot

Joseph Dennis*
Nikolaus Sprink
tenor

Hailey Clark Headshot

Hailey Clark*
Anna Sørenson (Sprink’s girlfriend)
soprano

Craig Verm Headshot

Craig Irvin*
Lieutenant Horstmayer
baritone

David Margulis Headshot

David Margulis*
Kronprinz
tenor

THE FRENCH SIDE

David Adam Moore Headshot

David Adam Moore
Lieutenant Audebert
baritone

Andrew Wilkowske Headshot

Andrew Wilkowske*
Ponchel (Lt. Audebert’s aide-de-camp)
baritone

Christian Zaremba Heatshot

Christian Zaremba
French General
bass

Cheryl Kaderli*
Madeleine Audebert (Lt. Audebert’s Wife)
soprano

THE SCOTTISH SIDE

John Lindsey
Jonathan Dale
tenor

Ben Edquist Headshot

Ben Edquist*
William Dale (Jonathan’s Brother)
baritone

Troy Cook Headshot

Troy Cook
Father Palmer
baritone

Craig Verm Headshot

Craig Verm*
Lieutenant Gordon
baritone

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

Music: Kevin Puts
Libretto: Mark Campbell
Production by: Tomer Zvulun
Conductor: Timothy Myers
Stage Director: Conor Hanratty
Scenic Design: Erhard Rom
Costume Design: Victoria Tzykun
Lighting Design: Peter W. Mitchell
Wig and Make-up Design: Melanie Steele
Audio Design: Bill Mester
Chorus Master/Assistant Conductor: Cina Crisara
Assistant Director: Rebecca A. Herman
Production Stage Manager: Kathleen Edwards

Based on the screenplay by Christian Carion for the motion picture Joyeux Noël produced by Nord-Ouest Production

Commissioned by Minnesota Opera, A Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative Production

THE SET & COSTUMES

See the SET and COSTUMES for Austin Opera’s Silent Night – The following video clips included footage showing the set that you will see in Austin Opera’s production.

Wexford Festival Opera Trailer – The European premiere of Kevin Put’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Silent Night was presented by the Wexford Festival Opera in 2014.  Austin Opera is presenting the same production, so much of the set and costumes will look the same.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9pXWWqR9rI

World War 1 Facts for Kids: National Geographic Kids
Explore this part of world history.  Why did World War I start?  What was life like in the trenches?  How did it end?
https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/discover/history/general-history/first-world-war/

World War I Overview for Kids: Duckster Website
World War I was a major conflict fought between 1914 and 1918.  Other names for World War I include the First World War, WWI, the War to End All Wars and the Great War.
https://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_i/

World War I: The History Channel
Specific persons, places and battles are included in this resource, along with a photo gallery.
https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/world-war-i-history

World War I: History for Kids website
Free history network for kids
http://www.historyforkids.net/world-war-one.html

BBC Schools Website: World War I
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/0/ww1/

VIDEO: World War I Facts and Summary of WWI for Kids
A 10-minute history video on WWI.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGfAf45ddCo

VIDEO: 50 Insane World War I Facts That Will Shock You!
What are some of the most interesting facts about World War I that you don’t know?  The Infographics Show has compiled them here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLpYVTRVs_s

World War I – origins, events and consequences summarized on a map
Retracing the chain of events of WWI on a map.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLj5r2nZHB8

Trench Warfare Facts: The Trenches of WWI
from Kids Konnect
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbzf_7vIvpw

Trench Systems
A look at trench warfare and now they were networked.  Cartoon style.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgykKEhfEok

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