Not exactly uplifting, says you! But it actually had some humour in it, and I did shed a few tears at the end, such was the power of the whole opera. The music itself was good, but not as striking as I was expecting - it had been compared to Porgy and Bess, but it was nothing like it. I felt a lot of the singing was kind of talking to music, rather than singing songs, if you know what I mean (actually one of the reviews on the Amazon website describes this much better than me, so have a look at it!) That said, one of the songs still sticks in my head, more than a week later - one of the main ensemble pieces, where the parents of the 2 murdered teenagers are singing "you don't know what it's like to lose a child" - haunting...I should look for the CD, just for that song, really.
Like Turandot, the stage production was excellent, making good use of all modern devices - good lighting, simple sets with strong design elements, and screen projections on the backdrop.
The singing was gorgeous - the Swedish mezzo-soprano who plays sister Prejean was top-class - a strong voice that carried her through the whole performance - there was hardly any moment where she wasn't on stage and singing. And the baritone who plays Joe de Rocher was amazing too - he actually sings one of his main songs while doing push-ups, and, wait for it, even push-ups where he claps his hands every time his body lifts!
If you want to listen to samples, have a look at the amazon.com website.