The commision comes as part of the Minnesota Opera's New Works Initiative which was launched in 2008 to create, "artistic growth, leadership and innovation." The opera is billed as the an adaptation of the play, and artistic director Dale Johnson said in a statement, "The Great Depression provided fodder for a multitude of artistic masterpieces, and Dinner at Eight by Kaufman and Ferber belongs in that category. The play is an ensemble piece, fast-paced and brilliantly witty, filled with extraordinary characters. These are ideal elements for an opera. Both William Bolcom and Mark Campbell straddle the classical and American popular styles, and I can’t think of a better combination to bring this sparkling comedy, with its rapid-fire dialogue and hilarious situations, to the opera stage.”
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