"The star attraction, however, was “Music, Awake!,” making its world premiere. Composed by Paul Moravec with words by Terry Teachout, the piece was commissioned by the society to honor John Sinclair for his 25 years as music director. … Moravec has nicely woven a more contemplative section about the power of music in dark times into the jubilance of the work."
"The music conveys the tension building in the characters’ internal worlds as Jack’s sanity unravels…"
"From Paul Moravec’s score full of discomfiting themes that clash and collide to strongly sung and disarmingly believable portrayals of characters alive and otherwise, “The Shining” is an unqualified success…"
"Superbly conducted by Michael Christie, Moravec’s music rises, falls, teases, terrifies and whirls like a torrent around the room. At times, the sound of the strings hangs in the air like a darkening cloud. There are bright, exultant moments, such as the opening scene when the Torrances catch their first hopeful glimpse of the magnificent Overlook."
"Paul Moravec composed the music for The Shining, and reviews agree he did an excellent job instilling the Overlook with the blood-curdlingly creepy vibes Stephen King’s The Shining was meant to have. Moravec says The Shining was perfect for converting into a musical, because a large portion of the story centers around the internal struggles and inner monologues of the individual characters."
“Moravec has set this tale with accessible, expressive music. The text can be clearly understood, thanks to both composer and cast, and supertitles are often not needed. There are moments of affecting lyrical beauty, particularly the moving (if predictable) final aria by Halloran, the resort’s cook and the story’s rescuer, who reassures Danny that “You’re doing fine by yourself . . . Just fine.” Other major characters — Jack, Wendy, and the spectral figure of Jack’s brutal father — all have expressive music.”
“What it lacks in showstopping solos, Moravec’s music makes up for in its ability to create tension and drive the conflict. It’s a demanding score, but conductor Michael Christie and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra shape it with a deft blend of strength and subtlety.”
“Moravec and Campbell create a score that embellishes all the dread and mayhem that appear on stage.”
“The new opera surges forward on the strength of electrifying music by Paul Moravec. The singers, performing a libretto by Mark Campbell, float atop the orchestral score like uncertain vessels on a roiling sea as their stay as demons awake to torture them. It’s a hell of a ride.”
“…Moravec’s score for the opera incorporates propulsive, percussion-driven sounds for what could be called the “mad scenes” of Act Two, along with appropriately eerie moments as tension-builders, but most of the music is tonal and Romantic and yet doesn’t sound old-fashioned — the soaring, exultant lyricism, for instance, in the opening scene as Jack and the family anticipate — almost too eagerly — their “new life,” or at the very end, the beautifully written coda scene, where Dick Hallorann, the cook, consoles Danny and Wendy as the strings play delicate chamber music.”
“Paul Moravec’s music sets the tone from the first moments. It’s a rich, multi-layered soundscape that breathes life into the Overlook Hotel, which is both the setting and the villain of the piece.”
“This operatic treatment of Stephen King’s breakthrough horror-thriller (1977) manages not only to distill the narrative intensity of the original but—its most significant achievement—transforms The Shining into valid operatic terms that transcend the thriller trappings.”