Faculty artist Joel Puckett was commissioned to write an opera for the Minnesota Opera as part of its New Works Initiative. The Black Sox Scandal will premiere as part of the opera company’s 2018-2019 season.
One of the most notorious scandals in American history comes to life in this world premiere opera by celebrated composer Joel Puckett. The 1919 Chicago White Sox were arguably the best team in the history of the game – they were also the most poorly paid, always at odds with their penny- pinching owner. Resentment, revenge, and ambition gone awry were the motivating factors that led eight players to conspire with gamblers and throw the World Series to the Cincinnatti Reds. Rich with characters such as Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ring Lardner, and Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, The Black Sox Scandal is a tragic tale of mythic proportions, ripe with greed, power, romance, and redemption, all set against the backdrop of America’s favorite pastime.
Named as one of National Public Radio’s favorite composers under the age of 40 by their listeners, Joel Puckett is a composer who is dedicated to the belief that music can bring consolation, hope, and joy to all who need it. The Washington Post has hailed him as both “visionary” and “gifted” and the Baltimore Sun proclaimed his work for the Washington Chorus and Orchestra, This Mourning, as “being of comparable expressive weight” to John Adams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning work.
In addition to Puckett’s world premiere, the National Endowment for the Arts grants $75,000 to support the world premiere of The Manchurian Candidate by faculty artist Kevin Puts in March 2015.