On Writing Librettos, with Irish fiction winner Colm Tóibín and composer Alberto Caruso


Irish Fiction winner Colm Tóibín has written a libretto for an opera to his novel The Master with composer Alberto Caruso.

At this special event, Colm Tóibín will sit down with Alberto Caruso as they discuss their collaboration and the process of writing the libretto ahead of The Master’s premiere at Wexford Festival Opera 2022.

The evening will feature Colm Tóibín reading his novel The Master and some excerpts from the opera will be performed on the piano by Alberto Caruso.

Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of ten novels including The Master (2004), winner of Dublin’s IMPAC Award and LA Times Novel of the Year; Brooklyn (2009), winner of the Costa Roman of the Year; and Nora Webster (2014), winner of the Hawthornden Prize. His two storybooks are Edge Hill Award-winning Mothers and Sons (2006) and Frank O’Connor Award-nominated The Empty Family (2010). His plays include The Testament of Mary (2011), nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. In 1993 he was elected to Aosdána and in 2020 became vice-president of the Royal Society of Literature. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He is editor of the London Review of Books. In 1995, he received the EM Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2017 he won the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement and the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Award from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. In 2021, he received the David Cohen Prize. He has taught at Stanford University, University of Texas at Austin, Princeton University, University of Manchester, and Columbia University. He is Chancellor of the University of Liverpool.

The Irish Fiction Laureate is an initiative of the Arts Council. The role aims to recognize the contribution of fiction writers to Irish artistic and cultural life. Colm Tóibín was announced as the third winner of Irish fiction in January 2022 and he will hold his role from 2022 to 2024.

Alberto Caruso, born in Trento, lives in Rome. After graduating in piano, composition and conducting under the direction of Carlo Maria Giulini, he began to compose films guided by Franco Mannino, the composer of Luchino Visconti. After three years in Los Angeles to assist Henning Lohner in the Hans Zimmer studios, he composed Madhouse, Sunday Lunch, Call it Democracy, Cardiofitness, Without Writers. Tokyo Chamber Opera commissioned their opera based on Le Petit Prince by Saint-Exupéry; he wrote the libretto in Japanese and Italian and conducted the premiere in Tokyo 2008 and Turin 2015. Together with Colm Tóibín, librettist for The Master, they did a workshop organized by the University of Colorado at Boulder, led by Ron Daniels . He has performed at Festival Due Mondi Spoleto, Festival Cervantino Guanajuato, Opera Puebla Mexico, Joondalup Festival Australia, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Teatro Eliseo Roma, Teatro Carignano Torino, Fordham University NY, Ishihara Hall Osaka, Palais de l’Athénée Genève

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