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Douglas J. Cuomo's Doubt On PBS's "Great Performances"

Jan. 01, 2019

Douglas J. Cuomo's <em>Doubt</em>  On PBS's "Great Performances"

On January 25, Douglas J. Cuomo's opera Doubt will be aired on PBS's Great Performances television series. The Great Performances broadcast is from the 2013 world premiere of Doubt at Minnesota Opera, and features Christine Brewer, Denyce Graves, Matthew Worth and Adrianna Zabala in the principal roles, with direction by Kevin Newbury.

With a libretto by John Patrick Shanley based on his Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a battle of wills ignited at a Bronx Catholic School in 1964, Doubt was commissioned by the Minnesota Opera as part of the company’s New Works Initiative, a landmark program designed to invigorate the operatic repertoire with an infusion of contemporary works. Cuomo writes:

Set at a Catholic school in the Bronx in Autumn of 1964, shortly after Vatican II, the story is taut and exacting and reflects the changes and dislocations of the times through four distinctly wrought, complex but absolutely recognizable characters who are each grappling with their own uneasy feelings that come as the cultural and moral ground beneath them begins to give way. Gender politics, race relations and the role of the church; questions about personal responsibility, doubt, right and wrong; each of these issues is brought to bear here – questions that are no less vital today than they were 45 years ago. So much in Doubt is about what is unsaid, what is continually running beneath the surface, which I see as an invitation to music.

The opera’s development was assisted by workshops produced by the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music’s Opera Fusion: New Works program. A collaboration between Minnesota Opera, Cincinnati Opera and CCM supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Opera Fusion: New Works was created to offer composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop new American operas. Doubt marked the first selection of Opera Fusion's program, chosen from a pool of 50 entrants.

(“The Boy’s Nature” from Doubt/Douglas J. Cuomo/Minnesota Opera/
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano/Christopher Franklin, conductor)

To learn more about Douglas J. Cuomo, visit:

Douglas J. Cuomo
Doubt (2012)
opera in two acts
libretto (Eng) by John Patrick Shanley based on his play and film
for baritone, dramatic soprano, 2 mezzo-sopranos, SSAA children’s chorus and SATB chorus
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