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Librettist Mark Campbell Premieres Five New Operas in 2017
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Dinner at Eight, Elizabeth Cree, Some Light Emerges and
The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare
New works in collaboration with composers Mason Bates, William Bolcom, Kevin Puts, Laura Kaminsky and Julian Grant Presented by Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Houston Grand Opera and Boston Lyric Opera
“Mark Campbell is one of the most in-demand librettists in the country. The opera community always looks forward to premieres of his latest works.” Marc A. Scorca, President/CEO of Opera America
Los Angeles, CA | New York, NY (February 7, 2017) – Librettist Mark Campbell, who is much admired for his libretto of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night, will be premiering an unprecedented number of new operas in 2017. Mark will launch five new works this year with five major U.S. opera houses—nearly one every two months. This unique accomplishment arrives on the heels of last year’s tremendous success with his and composer Paul Moravec’s opera, The Shining, which broke all box office records at Minnesota Opera. These new operas each demonstrate Campbell’s versatility and range as an artist and prove why his work remains at the forefront of the contemporary opera scene in this country.
DINNER AT EIGHT March 11-19, 2017, Minnesota Opera
Collaborating with pre-eminent composer William Bolcom, Campbell has adapted the popular George S. Kaufman/Edna Ferber play into a seriocomic work that will stylistically fuse the best of opera with the best of musical theatre. Dale Johnson, Artistic Director, says “We are thrilled to have Mark back this year at Minnesota Opera. He is one of the reasons that Silent Night and The Shining were such huge successes. We are confident that Dinner At Eight will also be a great hit.”
SOME LIGHT EMERGES March 16-17, 2017, Houston Grand Opera
Based on Campbell’s original premise, he and co-librettist Kimberly Reed have created a narrative that spans four decades and examines five individuals who are affected by a visit to Houston’s iconic Rothko Chapel, while chronicling the story of art patron Dominique de Menil in conceiving the space. This work, which both explores the power of art to affect change and the people who support it, marks the second collaboration with composer Laura Kaminsky and co-librettist Reed; their first, As One, is one of the most produced new operas in the past few years.
THE (R)EVOLUTION OF STEVE JOBS July 22-August 25, 2017, Santa Fe Opera
Probably the most anticipated new opera of 2017, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs promises to push the art form forward with an electronic-tinged score by composer Mason Bates and a high-tech stage design that features projection design by 59 Productions. Campbell approaches one of the most important figures of our time with humor and empathy, creating a narrative of Jobs from the key moments in his life that influenced his work.
ELIZABETH CREE September 17, 2017, Opera Philadelphia
In 2012, after the success of Silent Night, Opera Philadelphia approached Campbell about commissioning a new chamber opera, and he proposed an adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s novel, The Trial of Elizabeth Cree, which he read seventeen years earlier. His libretto captures the many-layered story of the novel, leaping from murder mystery to historical fiction to English music hall to Gothic horror, as it races towards its astonishing climax. Says composer Kevin Puts: “Mark's libretto for Elizabeth Cree is as brilliant as ever, with vividly drawn characters and a taut, breathless narrative that never lets up. I can't wait for audiences to experience our latest creation in September!”
THE NEFARIOUS, IMMORAL BUT HIGHLY PROFITABLE ENTERPRISE OF MR. BURKE & MR. HARE November 15, 2017, Boston Lyric Opera
Campbell’s original libretto is based on a true event that occurred in Scotland in 1828: William Burke and William Hare murdered sixteen victims and sold their corpses to the city's renowned anatomy academies for dissection. Employing five of the victims to help narrate the story, the opera brims with mordant humor and theatricality and features electrifying music by composer Julian Grant.
ABOUT MARK CAMPBELL
Mark Campbell’s most known work is Silent Night, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music and is one of the most frequently performed operas in recent history. After its premiere at Minnesota Opera, the work was broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances and continues to be produced by many opera companies around the country. His other successful operas include: As One, Later the Same Evening, Volpone, Bastianello/Lucrezia, The Manchurian Candidate, The Inspector, Approaching Ali, A Letter to East 11th Street, and most recently, The Shining. Mark has received many other prestigious prizes for his work, including a Grammy® nomination for Best Classical Recording, the first Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, two Richard Rodgers Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three Drama Desk nominations, a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, the first Dominic J. Pellicciotti Award, and a grant from the New York State Council of the Arts. Mark is an advocate for contemporary American opera and mentors future generations of writers through such organizations as American Opera Projects, American Lyric Theatre, the University of Colorado's New Opera Workshop, Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative and Opera Philadelphia's Composer-in-Residence Program.