Royce Vavrek is an Alberta-born, Brooklyn-based librettist and lyricist known for his standing as “a favorite collaborator of the postclassical set” (Time Out New York) and as “an exemplary creator of operatic prose” (The New York Times). His work has been called “sharp, crisp, witty” (See magazine), “taut” (The New Yorker), “meticulous” (Operavore, WQXR Radio), “full-throated” (Culture POP), “dramatically wild” and “exhilarating” (The New York Times). Collaborations with David T. Little include Am I Born for the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Brooklyn Youth Chorus; Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera for Bard Conservatory; Last Nightfall for the 21c Liederabend, Op. 2; and archaeology, commissioned and recorded for the OPERA America Songbook. They are currently commissioned by Fort Worth Opera and American Lyric Theater to create an opera exploring John F. Kennedy’s final hours, to be premiered in 2016.
His collaboration with composer Missy Mazzoli yielded the opera Song from the Uproar, which was presented at The Kitchen in 2012, in a production about which The New York Times said, “you felt the joy, risk and limitless potential of free spirits unbound.” They are currently developing an opera based on Lars von Trier’s film Breaking the Waves, having premiered the first aria at the 21c Liederabend, Op. 3 as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. Upcoming projects include 27 with Ricky Ian Gordon for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Angel’s Bone with Du Yun for the PROTOTYPE Festival, Midwestern Gothic with Josh Schmidt for Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, and The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Rachel Peters to be developed through the Center for Contemporary Opera. He is co-artistic director of The Coterie, an opera-theater company founded with soprano Lauren Worsham. He holds a B.F.A. in filmmaking and creative writing from Concordia University in Montreal and an M.F.A. in musical theater writing from NYU. He is an alumus of American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program.