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Pulitzer Prize Winning Librettist Mark Campbell to speak at Sarasota Opera House

October 11, 2016

Samuel Lowry, Director of Audience Development
(941) 328-1322


Sarasota, FL –Sarasota Opera and the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, FL will collaborate once again on a series of talks to be held at the Sarasota Opera House. On Wednesday, October 26th at 10:30am, Pulitzer Prize winning librettist Mark Campbell will lead a talk entitled “Adventures in Opera.” Mr. Campbell will discuss the recent boom in contemporary American opera, the joys and challenges of working in the art form, and offer a preview of the five new operas he is premiering in 2017.

Launched just last season, this series, entitled “Opera Talks,” will feature artists currently in residence at the Hermitage whose work focuses in opera. Presentations will be held in the Kamlet Library at the Sarasota Opera House and are free and open to the public.

“I am really glad to be able to have Mark Campbell speak at the Sarasota Opera house,” says Executive Director Richard Russell. “He is one of the busiest librettists working today and I am a great admirer of his work. We are grateful to the Hermitage Artist Retreat for making this special opportunity available to our community.”

Mark Campbell is one of the most in-demand and prolific librettists in the world. Of the fifteen plus operas he has written, his most known work is Silent Night, which received the 2012 Pulitzer in Music. Since its premiere at Minnesota Opera, the work has been broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances and produced by many opera companies across the country. Mark’s other successful operas are Later the Same Evening, Volpone, Bastianello/Lucrezia, As One, Memory Boy, The Manchurian Candidate, and most recently, The Shining.

Mr. Campbell has received many prestigious prizes, including a Grammy® nomination, the first Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, two Richard Rodgers Awards, a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, a NYFA Playwriting Fellowship, and the first Dominic J. Pelliciotti Award.

He is premiering five new operas in 2017: Dinner at Eight for Minnesota Opera, Some Light Emerges for Houston Grand Opera, The Nefarious, Immoral Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare for Boston Lyric Opera, Elizabeth Cree for Opera Philadelphia and The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs for Santa Fe Opera.

For more information on this event, you can contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office t (941) 328-1300 or email them at .

The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat which invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. In exchange for their residencies at the historic Manasota Key campus, all artists are asked to provide free art and literary presentations for the community, either with other arts organizations, in schools and universities, or on the beach where the Hermitage is located.

Librettist Mark Campbell’s lecture at the Sarasota Opera is one of hundreds of programs provided by the Hermitage Artist Retreat reaching thousands of people, all along the Gulf Coast. Hermitage community programs are partially sponsored by Philanthropist Gerri Aaron, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Woman’s Exchange.

In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098, ext. 5, or visit the website at .


Based on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera recently completed its 57th consecutive season and the final season of the company’s internationally acclaimed Verdi Cycle making it the only company in the world to have performed every work of Giuseppe Verdi. 

In 1960, the company began presenting chamber-sized repertoire in the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota in 1979 and first performing in it in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House. The theater has just undergone a $20 million renovation and rehabilitation enhancing audience amenities, while updating the technical facilities including increasing the size of the orchestra pit. The theater, which reopened in March 2008, has been called “one of America’s finest venues for opera” by Musical America.

Since 1983, the company has been under the artistic leadership of Victor DeRenzi and administrative leadership of Executive Director Richard Russell since 2012. The company has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle producing the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice Artist and Studio Artist programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its Invitation to Opera performances for local schools and the unique Sarasota Youth Opera program.

Sarasota Opera is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Programs are supported in part by an award the Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council. Additional funding is provided by the City of Sarasota and the County of Sarasota.

Sarasota Opera 61 N. Pineapple Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 366-8450