Mark Campbell (librettist)

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Mark Campbell is a New York-based librettist and lyricist whose operas have received both a Pulitzer Prize in Music[1] and a GRAMMY Award.[2] Mark began writing for the stage as a musical theatre lyricist, but turned to libretto-writing after he premiered Volpone, his first full-length opera in 2004 at Wolf Trap Opera Company.[3]

His best-known works are Silent Night,[4] The Shining,[5] The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs,[6] As One,[7] Later the Same Evening,[8] Stonewall,[9] Elizabeth Cree[10] and the musical Songs from an Unmade Bed.[11] His operas have been produced by most of the prominent opera companies in the U.S., including Atlanta Opera, Arizona Opera, Austin Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Central City Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Michigan Opera Theatre, Minnesota Opera, New Orleans Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Memphis, Opera Parallèle, Opera Philadelphia, Pensacola Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Portland Opera, San Diego Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Urban Arias, Utah Opera, Virginia Opera, Washington National Opera and West Edge Opera.

As an educator, Mark has established libretto-writing programs at the American Opera Project, Washington National Opera's American Opera Initiative, American Lyric Theatre and the University of Colorado's New Opera Workshop.

Operas (librettos)[edit]

Title Description Composer Co-Librettist Producing Company
Volpone A Comic Opera in Two Acts

Unfaithfully fashioned from the play by Ben Jonson

John Musto Wolf Trap Opera
Later the Same Evening An Opera Inspired by Five Paintings of Edward Hopper John Musto The University of Maryland School of Music
Bastianello A Comic Opera Inspired by an Italian Folk Tale John Musto New York Festival of Song/Carnegie Hall
Lucrezia A Comic Opera based on Machiavelli's La Mandragola William Bolcom New York Festival of Song/Carnegie Hall
A Letter to East 11th Street An Opera in Two Parts Martin Hennessy The American Opera Project/CUNY Crane School of Music
The Tell-Tale Heart An Operatic Monologue based on the Short Story by Edgar Allan Poe Lance Horne Zipper Theatre
The Girl I Left Behind An Operatic Monologue based on the Short Story by Dame Muriel Spark Lance Horne Zipper Theatre
A Hunger Artist An Operatic Monologue based on Kafka's The Hunger Artist Lance Horne Zipper Theatre
Rappahannock County A Theatrical Song Cycle about the American Civil War Ricky Ian Gordon Virginia Opera/Richmond University/ University of Texas Performing Arts Center
The Inspector A Comic Opera in Two Acts Based on Gogol's The Government Inspector John Musto Wolf Trap Opera/Boston Lyrics Opera
Silent Night An Opera in Two Acts Adapted from the Film Joyeux Noël (screenplay by Christian Carion) Kevin Puts Minnesota Opera
The Manchurian Candidate An Opera in Two Acts Adapted from the novel by Richard Condon Kevin Puts Minnesota Opera
A Song for Susan Smith An Opera in One Act Zach Redler University of Colorado New Opera Workshop
A Dog's Heart A Short Comic Opera based on Bulgakov's "Heart of a Dog" Lembit Beecher Opera Philadelphia
The Shining An Opera in Two Acts after the novel by Stephen King Paul Moravec Minnesota Opera
Approaching Ali A Family Opera based on Davis Miller's The Tao of Muhammad Ali D.J. Sparr Davis Miller Washington National Opera
As One An Opera for Two Voices

and String Quartet

Laura Kaminsky Kimberly Reed The American Opera Project/Brooklyn Academy of Music
A Flourish of Green A Mini-Opera based on a Story in Bocaccio's Decameron Missy Mizzoli Opera Philadelphia
The Other Room A Monologue in One Act Marisa Michelson Inner Voices
Memory Boy A Children's Opera based on the Novel by Will Weaver Reinaldo Moya Minnesota Opera
Empty the House An Opera in One Act Rene Orth Curtis School of Music/Opera Philadelphia
The Whole Truth A Comic Opera based on the Short Story by Stephen McCauley Robert Paterson American Modern Ensemble
The Good Friar A Comic Opera in One Act Martin Hennessy
Elizabeth Cree An Opera Adapted from the novel The Trial of Elizabeth Cree by Peter Ackroyd Kevin Puts Opera Philadelphia/Chicago Opera Theatre
Some Light Emerges A Chamber Opera in One Act about the Rothko Chapel Laura Kaminsky Kimberly Reed Houston Grand Opera/HGOCO
Dinner At Eight An Opera in Two Acts based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber William Bolcom Minnesota Opera
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs An Opera Mason Bates Santa Fe Opera/Seattle Opera/Indiana University Jacobs School of Music/San Francisco Opera
The Nefarious, Immoral But Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare An Opera in One Act Julian Grant Boston Lyric Opera/Music-Theatre Group
The Summer King An Opera in Two Acts Daniel Sonenberg Daniel Nestor Pittsburgh Opera/American Opera Project
Today It Rains An Opera in One Act Laura Kaminsky Kimberly Reed Opera Parallèle
Stonewall An Opera in One Act Iain Bell New York City Opera
Edward Tulane An Opera in Two Acts after the novel The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo Paola Prestini Minnesota Opera
The Secret River An Opera based on the Novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Stella Sung Opera Orlando
Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World A Children's Opera based on the Book by Laurence Anholt Joe Illick Ft. Worth Opera
Supermax An Opera in 60 Minutes Stewart Wallace Michael Korie Opera Saratoga
again and again. and again. An Opera based on Corneille's The Comic Illusion Conrad Cummings
A Sweet Silence in Cremona A Comic Opera in One Act Roberto Scarcella Perino New York University/Florence Villa la Pietra
Stone Soup A Children's Opera in One Act Joe Illick Ft. Worth Opera

Musicals (lyrics)[edit]

Title Description Composer Book Writer Producing Company
Splendora[12] Based on the book by Edward Swift Stephen Hoffman Peter Webb Bay Street Theatre and American Place Theatre
Songs from an Unmade Bed[13] A solo theatrical song cycle 18 different composers New York Theatre Workshop
The Sweet Revenge of Louisa May Based on several Gothic tales by Louisa May Alcott Stephen Hoffman Burton Cohen Olney Theatre
The Audience A musical written by many authors and composers Various Various The Transport Group
And the Curtain Rises A Musical about the First Musical Joseph Thalken Michael Slade Signature Theatre (DC)
Chang & Eng A Musical about the Siamese Twins Stephen Hoffman Burton Cohen NYMT
The Tenants of 3R Stephen Hoffman

Song Cycles (lyrics)[edit]

  • Thoroughfare
    Music by Conrad Cummings
  • Eight Phases of Luna[14]
    Music by Kamala Sankaram
  • Dear Mayor
    Music by Mark Baechle
  • And Another Song Comes On
    Music by Ben Moore
  • Six Christmas Traditions
    Music by Jake Heggie
  • Some Favored Nook
    Music by Eric Nathan
  • Oratorios
  • Sanctuary Road[15]
    Music by Paul Moravec
    The Oratorio Society of New York
  • A Nation of Others
    Music by Paul Moravec
    The Oratorio Society of New York

Awards and nominations[edit]

Libretto Mentorship Programs[edit]



  1. ^ "Pulitzer Prize for Music Winners". Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  2. ^ "'The (R)evolution Of Steve Jobs' Wins The Grammy – Opera Wire". Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  3. ^ "Opera | Wolf Trap". Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  4. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (2013-02-11). "Tenors Amid the Turmoil of War in the Trenches". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  5. ^ "Even Scarier Than The Book Or Movie: 'The Shining' Is Now An Opera". Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  6. ^ "Sing Different: Steve Jobs' Life Becomes An Opera". Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  7. ^ "As One". AOP. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  8. ^ Schweitzer, Vivien (2008-12-15). "Edward Hopper's Paintings Spring to Operatic Life at Manhattan School of Music". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  9. ^ Barone, Joshua (2019-06-23). "Review: A 'Stonewall' Opera Reflects the Diversity of Queer History". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  10. ^ Philadelphia, Opera. "Elizabeth Cree - Elizabeth Cree". Opera Philadelphia. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  11. ^ "NYTW / Songs from an Unmade Bed". NYTW. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  12. ^ "She's a He: Musical Splendora Gets Revised NYC Revival Feb. 8". Playbill. 2000-01-17. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  13. ^ Dale, Michael. "Songs From An Unmade Bed: Comfy and Playful". Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  14. ^ "EIGHT PHASES OF LUNA". Kamala Sankaram. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  15. ^ "New York Classical Review". Retrieved 2019-12-30.

External links[edit]