The Kennedy Center

Royce Vavrek


Royce Vavrek is a Grande Prairie, Canada-born, Brooklyn-based librettist and lyricist who has been called “the indie Hofmannsthal” (The New Yorker) a “Metastasio of the downtown opera scene” (The Washington Post), “an exemplary creator of operatic prose” (The New York Times), and “one of the most celebrated and sought after librettists in the world” (CBC Radio).  His opera Angel’s Bone with composer Du Yun was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music.  He is known for his diverse collaborations with composers Missy Mazzoli (Song from the Uproar, Breaking the Waves, Proving Up), David T. Little (Dog Days, Am I Born, JFK), Ricky Ian Gordon (27, The House Without a Christmas Tree), Joshua Schmidt (Midwestern Gothic), Gregory Spears (O Columbia), Paola Prestini (Yoani, The Hubble Cantata), Matt Marks (A Song for Wade (This is Not That Song), Strip Mall), Ellen Reid (Knoxville: Summer of 2015), Rachel Peters (The Wild Beast of the Bungalow), Mikael Karlsson (Diana Vreeland), and Marisa Michelson (Naamah’s Ark). Royce is co-Artistic Director of The Coterie, an opera-theater company founded with Tony-nominee Lauren Worsham.  The company is currently developing a series of short films that will operatically translate Aaron Teel’s novella-in-flash Shampoo Horns into six installments each composed by a different composer. He holds a BFA in Filmmaking and Creative Writing from Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal and an MFA from the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at New York University.  He is also an alumnus of American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program.