Fleischmann Awarded Second Annual Campbell Opera Librettist Prize
Photo of Stephanie Fleischmann by John Cleater
Photo of Stephanie Fleischmann by John Cleater

DG member Stephanie Fleischmann, has won the 2022 Campbell Opera Librettist Prize. Conceived and funded by acclaimed librettist, lyricist, and DG member Mark Campbell, the Prize is the first award in the history of American opera created specifically to honor the work of opera librettists, and comes with a $7,000 award to support the winner’s creative and career development.

“I applaud the panel’s selection of Stephanie Fleischmann,” said Campbell. “I became aware of Stephanie’s work while serving as the librettist mentor for the American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program. She more than meets the qualities I hoped for when I created this prize: She’s a splendid and versatile writer, an excellent collaborator, an ardent ally to the librettist community, and is actively pursuing a career dedicated to opera.”

The Campbell Opera Librettist Prize was created to raise the profile of the opera librettist. While librettists have gained more prominence in recent years, there has been little specific recognition for their work, which prompted Mark Campbell to create and fund the award. One of opera’s most successful librettists, Campbell has penned 40 librettos, four oratorios, and seven song cycles. Operas shaped by his masterful libretti have won numerous awards, including the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Silent Night (Kevin Puts) and a 2019 Grammy Award for The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Mason Bates). Other successful works include The Shining (Paul Moravec), Sanctuary Road (Paul Moravec), Stonewall (Iain Bell), Songs from an Unmade Bed, As One (Laura Kaminsky, Kimberly Reed), Later the Same Evening (John Musto), and Elizabeth Cree (Kevin Puts).

OPERA America is dedicated to supporting creative artists, and the Campbell Opera Librettist Prize allows us to highlight the art of libretto-writing,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America. “Thanks to Mark Campbell and his generous support, we are able to elevate an essential element of this complex art form that has not been recognized adequately in our history.”

“What an honor it is to be recognized by OPERA America’s Campbell Opera Librettist Prize,” reflected Fleischmann. “And to have been afforded the privilege of finding my voice in communion with so many brilliant composer compatriots. Merging words with music is a mysterious vocation indeed. But there’s nothing I love more than building worlds, asking questions, telling stories, dreaming into impossibly heartbreaking, soaring, mind-bending moments in collusion with, and galvanized by, music. Anything is possible in opera. I am so grateful to Mark Campbell for his vision, generosity, and intrepid advocacy for the librettist’s contribution to this ever-evolving form.”