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Silent Night: The World War I Christmas Eve Truce

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 9:33am -- WCVE

This opera recounts the true story of the World War I Christmas Eve truce. For one magical evening on December 24, 1914, French, German and Scottish soldiers laid down their arms and joined in a spontaneous celebration reflecting the peace, fellowship and humanity of the season.

Based on the Academy Award-nominated film Joyeux Noel, this two-act production was commissioned by the Minnesota Opera and premiered in November 2012 to national acclaim, including a Pulitzer Prize for Music for composer Kevin Puts. With a libretto by Mark Campbell, Silent Night is sung in French, English, German, Italian and Latin with English subtitles.

Watch Silent Night Friday, December 13 at 9:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS.

On WWI’s western front, Scottish, French and German officers defy their superiors and negotiate a Christmas Eve truce. Enemies become brothers as they share Christmas and bury their dead. William Burden starred as the soldier whose voice inspired peace – if only for a day.

Silent Night was conducted by Minnesota Opera’s Music Director Michael Christie and staged by Academy Award-winning director Eric Simonson.