Opera Innovators: Mark Campbell and Paul Moravec

Mark Campbell and Paul Moravec
Librettist Mark Campbell and composer Paul Moravec stroll the red carpet at opening night of The Shining at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House(2022).
Photo: Opera Colorado/Lane Mathis

By: Suzanne Whitney

Throughout opera’s history, composers, librettists, directors, and artists of all kinds have contributed to this ever-evolving art form. Despite the public perception of opera being a bit stodgy, today’s operatic artists are trying out new and inventive musical styles, developing new stagecraft techniques, and telling new kinds of stories to reflect our diverse and expanding world. Here at Opera Colorado, we want to celebrate the artists pushing the envelope and moving opera’s grand history forward.

Meet Mark Campbell & Paul Moravec

In this installment of Opera Innovators, learn more about the collaboration between the librettist and composer and what it is like to create an opera! Librettist Mark Campbell and composer Paul Moravec are a team with many successes, but their most iconic is the operatic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. In February of 2022, Opera Colorado presented the regional premiere of this enthralling opera to our audiences’ delight (and horror)—it isn’t every day you get to experience a classic Colorado horror story as a full operatic experience.

The collaboration Paul and Mark have developed over the years is inspiring. Art is never created in a vacuum, but this is particularly true of opera. This pair of skilled creators work together and push each other to do their best work! Together they create what neither could on their own.

“My collaboration with Paul is among my very very favorites. Paul makes me do my best work, and I think the works we’ve created together, they really demonstrate what a good collaboration can produce.” -Mark Campbell, Librettist of The Shining

Many people assume opera is an art form of the past, something written by Italians hundreds of years ago. But, Mark and Paul would like you to experience opera as an art form of the present and the future! Their passion for modern American opera as a medium for storytelling is catching.

“Most of all it is a joy to write an opera—to tell a story and to hear it in musical terms. There is a kind of alchemy that happens in turning a story into a different art form.” -Paul Moravec, Composer of The Shining

It takes guts to try something new, and Mark would love for more opera companies to produce new works. Contemporary American opera has the chance to connect with modern audiences in new and exciting ways.

“The only way that opera will survive is by creating new works. I’m very very proud of what has been going on in contemporary american opera… It requires opera companies, like Opera Colorado, to be a little bit brave, to be a little bit fearless!” -Mark Campbell, Librettist of The Shining

Enjoy the chance to learn more from these extraordinary artists and learn what it takes to write an opera!

Directed by: Suzanne Whitney
Cinematography by: Bahy Ghoneim & Lane Mathis
Edited by: Lane Mathis
Featuring: Mark Campbell & Paul Moravec

More Opera Innovators

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Mark Campbell and Paul Moravec and learning how they collaborate to create new operas! If you want to know more about operatic artists pushing the envelope, check out our other installments of Opera Innovators!

Nmon Ford was the star of our digital production Josephine & The Promise of Living, Escamillo in our 2022 production of Carmen, and the composer of Orfeus, A House Music Opera. Follow the story of how he created a new genre and collaborated with incredible artists to make his dream a reality. Learn More>>

 Cecilia Violetta López has performed on Opera Colorado’s mainstage and at our first in-person event of 2021, Canciones de Nuestras TierrasDiscover how Cecilia blurs the line between the Mexican folkloric music she grew up with and the operatic world. Learn More>>

Louisa Muller was the director of Opera Colorado’s 2021 production of Tosca. She has a deft artistic hand and a passion for authentic storytelling. Beyond her artistic vision, she has a vision for a more inclusive future for opera featuring diversity, not just on stage, but at every level of operatic organizations. Learn More>>

Did you enjoy this installment of Opera Innovators? Who are the artists you think are creating innovative projects and ideas in the world of opera? Let us know in the comments below.

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