Congratulations to Kevin Puts, whose first opera, “Silent Night,” won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for music.

The opera premiered in November, 2011 at the Minnesota Opera; Mark Campbell, familiar to area audiences (“The Inspector,” “Rappahannock County”), was the librettist. Here are some critical appraisals of the premiere: by Heidi Waleson in the Wall Street Journal; by Larry Fuchsberg in Opera News.

There’s been a lot of talk about expanding the reach of the music Pulitzers over the years. To hear these excerpts, this piece seems to be tonal, lovely — and conservative. Jazz and pop will have to wait another year, or five.

The two finalists were Tod Machover, for his opera “Death and the Powers,” and Andrew Norman, for his string trio “The Companion Guide to Rome.”

Above: Karin Wolverton sings“Dona nobis pacem” in “Silent Night,” the opera by Kevin Puts that was announced today as winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Above: Liam Bonner in an aria from Kevin Puts’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning “Silent Night.”