News and Events
Lori Laitman and Dave Mason
photo by: Beth Greenberg


Lori Laitman and David Mason began their collaboration in 2004. They work with strong, accessible stories, language that is vivid and dramatic, and music that opens up the psychological implications of characters and scenes. In The Scarlet Letter, the characters are richly conveyed by the union of Laitman's melodies with Mason's dramatic verse. The Scarlet Letter remains a timely story about America, our foundational belief in individual freedom and how it is so often compromised by repressive communities.

Laitman first worked with Mason when she was commissioned by The West Chester University Poetry Conference to set his poem Swimmers on the Shore. In 2007, The University of Central Arkansas commissioned an opera from Laitman and she asked Mason to write the libretto. Together they chose Nathaniel Hawthorne's American masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter. The opera received its academic premiere on November 6, 2008 in Conway, AR, to critical acclaim.

In 2009-2010, Laitman & Mason collaborated on Vedem, a Holocaust oratorio commissioned by Music of Remembrance. The work premiered on May 10, 2010 at Benaroya Recital Hall in Seattle, WA. Naxos will release the CD in April 2011, in conjunction with a documentary by John Sharify, The Boys of Terezin.

They will continue their collaboration with a new opera, based on Mason's award-winning epic verse novel Ludlow. Mason won the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Creativity in Motion Prize to encourage the development of this new libretto. He was recently interviewed on the PBS Newshour, speaking about his poetry and Ludlow the opera. Here is a link to the interviews online.

In July 2010, Mason was appointed Poet Laureate of Colorado.