Mark Campbell

The Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winning operas of librettist/lyricist Mark Campbell are among the most successful in the contemporary canon. A prolific writer, Mark has created 40 opera librettos, lyrics for seven musicals, and the text for nine song cycles and four oratorios.

Mark’s best-known opera is Silent Night, which received a Pulitzer Prize in Music and, along with his opera As One, is one of the most frequently produced operas in recent history. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, an audience favorite, received a 2018 GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording. Mark’s other successful works include The Shining, Sanctuary Road, Stonewall, Later the Same Evening, The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, The Manchurian Candidate, Approaching Ali, The Secret River, A Letter to East 11th Street, Dinner at Eight, Volpone, Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World, Stone Soup, and Bastianello/Lucrezia. His musicals include Songs from an Unmade Bed, The Audience and Splendora. He has also created a new adaptation of Stravinsky/Ramuz’s The Soldier’s Story.

Recent premieres include: A Nation of Others for the Oratorio Society of New York, Edward Tulane for Minnesota Opera, A Sweet Silence in Cremona for the Villa la Pietra–Continuum Theater and Teatro Comunale Ponchielli, A Thousand Acres for Des Moines Metro Opera, A Year to the Day for The Violin Channel, Irena for the Teatr Muzyczny w Poznaniu, and Unruly Sun for Orchestre classique de Montréal.

Mark has received many other prestigious prizes for his work, including the first Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, three Grammy nominations for Best Classical Recording, 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. Pelliciotti Award, and a grant from the New York State Council of the Arts.

Recordings of his works include: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Pentatone), Sanctuary Road (Naxos), Silent Night (Naxos), As One (Bright Shiny Things), Volpone (Wolf Trap Records), Bastianello/Lucrezia (Bridge), Rappahannock County (Naxos), Later the Same Evening (Albany) and Songs from an Unmade Bed (Ghostlight).

Mark is also an advocate for contemporary American opera and serves as a mentor for future generations of writers through such organizations as American Opera Projects, American Lyric Theatre, and Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative. In 2020, he created and is funding the Campbell Opera Librettist Prize, the first and only award for opera librettists. The award is given annually and administered by OPERA America. In 2022, he helped create and is funding the True Voice Award, administered by Washington National Opera, to help with the training of transgender opera singers.

Future premieres include Supermax for Long Beach Opera and The Cook-Off for Chicago Opera Theatre

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