'Silent Night' by Kevin Puts wins Pulitzer for music
"Silent Night," an opera by Kevin Puts that dramatizes a miraculous ceasefire during World War I, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music. The opera, with a libretto by Mark Campbell, received its world-premiere production at Minnesota Opera in November.
Puts' opera is adapted from the 2005 movie "Joyeux Noël," which was nominated for an Academy Award for foreign-language film. Like the movie, the opera depicts an unexpected truce negotiated by Scottish, French and German officers on Christmas Eve. The movie was written and directed by Christian Carion.
"Silent Night" won the Pulitzer over finalists "Death and the Powers," an opera by Tod Machover, and "The Companion Guide to Rome," a piece for string trio by Andrew Norman that evokes nine Roman churches. Norman is an alumnus of the University of Southern California and has been named a resident composer for the L.A. Chamber Orchestra.
Puts' symphonic works have been performed by groups throughout the country, including the Pacific Symphony and the L.A. Chamber Orchestra. "Silent Night" is the composer's first opera.
-- David Ng
Photo: A scene from "Silent Night" at Minnesota Opera in 2011. Credit: © Michal Daniel / Minnesota Opera.