Minnesota Opera to World Premiere ‘Edward Tulane’

By Francisco Salazar

The Minnesota Opera is set to showcase the world premiere of “Edward Tulane,” a new opera by composer Paola Prestini and librettist Mark Campbell.

The work will receive its premiere after a two-year postponement at the Music Theater at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and represents the first work by a woman to be commissioned by Minnesota Opera as part of the company’s New Works Initiative.

The opera is based on the novel “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” and is set to star tenor Jack Swanson, soprano Zulimar López-Hernández, baritone Brian Vu, bass Zachary James, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata and baritone Daniel Belcher. Former Minnesota Opera Resident Artists Benjamin Sieverding, Victoria Vargas, Adriana Zabala, Lisa Marie Rogali, Danielle Beckvermit, Nicholas Davis and Christian Sanders round out the cast. Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya leads the production by Eric Simonson.

In a statement, Prestini noted, “‘Edward Tulane’ continues my love of working on art that brings intergenerational audiences together. The themes found in the DiCamilo novel, woven into a brilliant and unique libretto by Mark Campbell gave me the perfect springboard for an opera about hope and transformation— told through a rabbit’s perspective! The opportunity to unleash my imagination into sound worlds for underwater fish, a zany doll shop, and ultimately a cast of characters that guide our leading soul with love and wisdom has been delightful. We all are in need of magic and transformation, and Edward’s journey brings it in spades. I’m immensely grateful that Minnesota Opera chose me for this adventure, and hope that this opera brings new audiences to our stages.”

“Edward Tulane” opens on Oct. 8 and runs through Oct. 13, 2022.