NYFOS Next to Spotlight Work of Award-Winning Lyricist Mark Campbell

By Chris Ruel
(Photo credit: Final Note Magazine)

For the first time in the history of the New York Festival of Song’s NYFOS Next series, the program will focus entirely on the work of one lyricist/librettist, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy® Award-winner Mark Campbell.

The 40-minute virtual concert will take place on April 14, at 7:00 P.M. ET.

The program will preview Campbell’s recent work, presenting selections from pandemic-postponed works, and those written within the past year, and include songs from “Edward Tulane” (Minnesota Opera), “A Nation of Others” (Oratorio Society of New York), “The Secret River” (Opera Orlando), “A Sweet Silence in Cremona” (Casa Italiana Zerilli–Marimò/Center for Contemporary Opera) and a new arrangement of the finale from “Stonewall” (New York City Opera).

It will also feature songs from “My Own Country,” currently featured in West Edge Opera’s Aperture initiative and “Unruly Sun,” a theatrical song cycle inspired by Derek Jarman’s “Modern Nature.” Composers include Iain Bell, Daron Hagen, Paul Moravec, Roberto Scarcella Perino, Paola Prestini, Matthew Ricketts, Kamala Sankaram, and Stella Sung.

Participating artists are soprano Jessica Fishenfeld, mezzo-soprano Olivia Cosío, baritone Brian James Myer, and tenor Joshua Blue. Music Director Danny Zelibor accompanies on the piano while NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier will provide commentary and interview Campbell.

“Mark Campbell combines two qualities that rarely come together in one writer: a razor-sharp command of language, and a subtle understanding of dramatic shape. His wit as a lyricist is on a par with the greats (Cole Porter, Arnold Weinstein), and his savvy for structuring a libretto places him at the top of the field today. I am very proud to focus on his collaborations with eight contemporary composers in this program of world premieres,” Blier stated in the NYFOS Next press release.