Kelley Rourke is a librettist, translator and dramaturg. She has collaborated with composer John Glover on projects including Lucy, Natural Systems, and Guns n’ Rosenkavalier, among others. Kelley has written libretti for three youth operas at The Glimmerglass Festival: Odyssey and Robin Hood (both with Ben Moore) and Wilde Tales (with Laura Karpman). Kelley's modern English adaptations of numerous standard and not-so-standard operas have been hailed as “crackingly witty” (The Independent, London) and “remarkably well wedded to the music and versification in arias” (New York Times).
Her work been commissioned and performed by Washington National Opera, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Young People’s Chorus of NYC, Seattle Opera, Minnesota Opera, Carnegie Hall, Urban Arias (Washington, DC), San Francisco Conservatory, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, American Opera Projects, Atlanta Opera and Nautilus Music-Theater, among others.
Kelley has served as guest lecturer at Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and was founding editor of Opera America magazine and a contributor to the New Grove Dictionary of American Music. She is resident dramaturg for both Washington National Opera and The Glimmerglass Festival.
Kelley’s work as a collaborative writer is supported and informed by nearly two decades of practicing and teaching yoga and mindfulness. She began studying the Ashtanga method in 2005 with Keith Moore (Ashtanga Yoga Studio DC). Since 2009 she has studied with Eddie Stern (Ashtanga Yoga New York), and she has made two trips to Mysore, India, to study with Sharath Jois. Since 2010 Kelley has been engaged to teach mindfulness practices to public school students, teachers and administrators in cities including New York City, Houston, Indianapolis, El Paso and Columbia, SC.
Upcoming projects include an English adaptation of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen for The Glimmerglass Festival, productions of Odyssey (with composer Ben Moore) in Seattle and Cooperstown, and a new immersive opera, written with composer John Glover, for On Site Opera (NYC).