The Opera Issue
No. 2
Vol. 24
Nov/Dec 2021

This first (but not the last) edition of The Dramatist dedicated to writing opera has been shaped by guest editors Mark Campbell and Michael Korie to offer some insight to opera-curious dramatists about music composition and libretti writing. While this isn’t a comprehensive guide for first-timers, it does attempt to dispel some of the mystery around the opera world and encourage learning more about this area of the theatre industry.

In The Opera Issue, DG Opera Committee Co-Chair Mark Campbell ponders whether we are living in a new Golden Age of American Opera, while fellow DG Opera Committee Co-Chair Michael Korie shares insights and advice for dramatists who hope to cross over into writing opera. Deborah Brevoort moderates a roundtable of librettists (featuring Mark Campbell, Stephanie Fleischmann, David Henry Hwang, EM Lewis, and Sandra Seaton) and Lila Palmer moderates a roundtable with opera composers  (featuring Nicolas Lell Benavides, Paola Prestini, Scott Davenport Richards, Kamala Sankaram, Stephen Schwartz, and Huang Ruo). Also in this issue, Charlayne Woodard and Kirsten Childs pay tribute to longtime DG member and trailblazer Micki Grant, who passed away in August 2021. In addition, both Vanessa Severo and Erika Dickerson-Despenza answer Ten Questions on being a writer and Cori Thomas explains "Why I Joined the Guild."

The Dramatist is made possible by funding from the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America, a generous gift from the John Logan Foundation through a grant from the Dramatists Guild Foundation, and contributions from Guild members like you.

The cover of The Opera Issue of The Dramatist

Guest Editor

Mark Campbell
Mark Campbell

s Pulitzer and Grammy Award-winning work includes 39 opera librettos, lyrics for seven musicals, and text for six song cycles and three oratorios. He recently created the first prize in the history of opera designated specifically for opera librettists: the Campbell Opera Librettist Prize.

Michael Korie
Michael Korie

received The Marc Blitzstein Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his lyrics in musicals and librettos in operas. Korie wrote the lyrics to composer Scott Frankel’s music for the Broadway productions of War Paint and Grey Gardens, with books by Doug Wright, and the off-Broadway productions of Far From Heaven and Happiness. For opera he adapted Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath with composer Ricky Ian Gordon. Korie’s original librettos to operas composed by Stewart Wallace include Harvey Milk, a new version of which premiered this season at Opera Theater of Saint Louis.

Cover Illustration and Artwork

Mia Carnevale

is a freelance illustrator, designer, and artist located in Toronto, Canada. With her work, she is interested in motifs from folktales, Mediterranean antiquities, romance, and various mythologies. She strives to create artwork with strong narrative, fantastical patterns and occasionally bright colour palettes. In her spare time, you can find Mia working on her graphic novel, searching through various collected ephemera for reference, or making homemade pasta.


TOC - The Opera Issue

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