OPERA America To Host Panel Discussion With The Librettist Initiative

By David Salazar

The Librettist Initiative will appear at OPERA America as part of the New Works Forum on Jan. 16, 2020 in an effort to spread word on its purpose.

The group will hold a panel discussion and Q & A with Lynn Nottage, Stephen Schwartz, and Jeanine Tesori and will also feature the premiere of a short film created by librettists Mark Campbell and Michael Korie.  Entitled “Crediting the Librettist,” the nine-minute short film features a wide range of major librettists and composers talking about the role of the scribe and the importance of placing them on equal footing with the composer.

The video points out the widespread issue of ignoring the librettist when naming an opera.

“There is this terrible habit… Sometimes we refer to ‘Falstaff’ as an opera by Verdi, not by Verdi and Boito,” states On Site Opera General & Artistic Director Eric Einhorn at one point in the video. “We can’t fall back on those habits strictly because they are habits. We reexamine parts of the industry that are habitual and precedential legacy all the time, so why not credit as a part of that?”

The Librettist Initiative was created to help establish standards for librettists regarding fees, artistic control, and crediting, among other things.