Preview | Doubt from the Minnesota Opera - About the Opera

Premieres Friday, January 25 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Great Performances: Doubt from the Minnesota Opera is a new opera based on playwright John Patrick Shanley’s acclaimed 2005 Broadway play, which was later adapted into an Academy Award-nominated 2008 film.

This first-time collaboration between Stanley and composer Douglas J. Cuomo is a production of the Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative and is directed by Kevin Newbury. Christopher Franklin conducts. The opera stars GRAMMY Award-winning soprano Christine Brewer as Sister Aloysius, Adriana Zabala as Sister James, Matthew Worth as Father Flynn and Denyce Graves as Mrs. Miller. It is a production of Minnesota Opera.

“‘Doubt is a powerful story that has resonated with Broadway and movie audiences alike,” said Great Performances Executive Producer David Horn. “Minnesota Opera has brought the story to life in an exciting new way, highlighting the company’s depth of talent and willingness to take on the challenge of an emotionally charged new work.”

Doubt unfolds as suspicion ignites a battle of wills at a Bronx Catholic school in 1964. The charismatic and progressive Father Flynn is trying to loosen the grip of St. Nicholas Church School’s strict customs, which are fiercely guarded by its iron-fisted principal, Sister Aloysius Beauvier. When the young and naïve Sister James shares her suspicion with the principal that Father Flynn may be abusing the school’s only African-American student, Sister Aloysius embarks on a personal crusade to discover the truth about the priest. With no proof besides her moral certainty, Sister Aloysius engages in a battle of wills with Father Flynn in this new opera.

Doubt joins a month-long set of classical music programming from Great Performances and Great Performances at the Met, including The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Gala (January 11), Orphée et Eurydice (January 18),  Aida (January 20), and Marnie (February 1).

Notable Talent:

  • Christine Brewer, GRAMMY Award-winning soprano – Sister Aloysius Beauvier
  • Denyce Graves – Mrs. Miller
  • Matthew Worth – Father Brendan Flynn
  • Adriana Zabala – Sister James

Production Credits:

Great Performances: Doubt from the Minnesota Opera is a Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative Production. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.


Major funding for Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the Irene Diamond Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Rosalind P. Walter, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Lenore Hecht Foundation, The Phillip and Janice Levin Foundation and The Abra Prentice Foundation.

About Minnesota Opera Print

Minnesota Opera’s mission is to change lives by bringing together artists, audiences, and community, advancing the art of opera for today and for future generations. In 1963, the commission of Minnesota composer Dominick Argento’s The Masque of Angels sparked the creation of a small Twin Cities opera company spotlighting the rare and avant-garde. Over fifty-five years later, Minnesota Opera is a leading American company, admired as an innovative creator of compelling opera productions, education programs, and new works.

About WNET Print

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multi-platform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.