My first opera was a world premiere (and I’m hooked)

My first opera was a world premiere (and I’m hooked)


norman lebrecht

March 09, 2015

The Manchurian Candidate has been around for half a century as a novel and two feature movies. This weekend it opened in Minnesota as an opera by Kevin Puts. Kate Leibfried never seen an opera, but she had heard of the title. She went along. Here’s what she saw, and felt, and took home. Read on…

manchurian candidate


  • Sixtus says:

    Her heartfelt, unjaded, and well-expressed reactions to the production as musical theater is something to be admired. Even professional, not to mention amateur-blog, opera critics often miss the point that opera is (or should be) live and living theater and that opera performance reviews should not merely be about whether so-and-so was in good voice compared to some previous performer or performance.

    BTW: The Minnesota Opera’s presentation of the work on their website is a model of how a world premier should be treated, complete with ample, and informative, video samples:

    They even provide the program booklet in electronic form. Inside there’s an ad from an enterprising St.Paul group ( and their upcoming “Early Music” festival featuring the works of . . . Stockhausen! There’s clearly more of musical interest in the Twin Cities than Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra.

  • Kate Leibfried says:

    Thank you for reposting! I’m pleased that you enjoyed my review. The Manchurian Candidate has opened a new door for me–I now feel that opera is more accessible and less intimidating than it is usually perceived to be.