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Glyn Maxwell

Librettist

Biography

British poet and playwright Glyn Maxwell made his Royal Opera debut in 2012 as librettist for David Bruce’s The Firework-Maker’s Daughter, co-commissioned by ROH2 and The Opera Group and nominated for the 2014 Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production.

Maxwell’s other librettos include Nothing (Bruce), The Lion’s Face (Elena Langer) and Seven Angels (Luke Bedford). His poetry books include Pluto, Hide Now, The Breakage, Rest for the Wicked (all of which were nominated for either the Forward or T.S. Eliot prizes) and The Nerve (winner of the 2003 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize). His other awards include the 2014 Cholmondeley Prize from the Society of Authors in recognition of his achievement in poetry, and the 1997 E.M. Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His many plays include Liberty for Shakespeare’s Globe, The Lifeblood for Riverside Studios and Edinburgh Fringe (British Theatre Guide’s Best Play of 2004) and adaptations of Cyrano de Bergerac and The Wind in the Willows for Grosvenor Park Theatre, Chester.

His other writings include the verse narrative The Sugar Mile (2005), the novel Blue Burneau (1994, short-listed for Whitbread First Novel Award) and the critical guidebook On Poetry (2012), which was described by The Spectator as ‘a modern classic’. Maxwell was poetry editor of the New Republic 2001–07 and has taught at Amherst College, Columbia, Princeton, New York University and The New School. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Welsh Academy.

Videos

News and features

What is it about fairytales that continues to fascinate composers and audiences?

30 December 2015
What is it about fairytales that continues to fascinate composers and audiences?

The centuries-old form continues to inspire, even into the 21st century through works such as The Firework-Maker’s Daughter.

Opera Essentials: The Firework-Maker’s Daughter

1 December 2015
Opera Essentials: <em>The Firework-Maker’s Daughter</em>

Our quick introduction to this family opera inspired by Philip Pullman’s captivating fairytale.

Exciting line-up of actors announced for Wagner: The Writers' Cycle

18 September 2012
Exciting line-up of actors announced for Wagner: The Writers' Cycle

Three renowned actors to perform in an exclusive evening of Wagner-inspired drama, poetry and prose with BBC Radio 3.

Photos