Michael Korie received The Marc Blitzstein Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his lyrics in musicals and his librettos in operas. He has written librettos for two operas with composer Ricky Ian Gordon. First, an acclaimed adaptation of Steinbeck’s "The Grapes of Wrath" which originally premiered at Minnesota Opera, Utah Opera and Symphony, and Pittsburgh Opera, and was followed by a choral version presented in Los Angeles at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and subsequently Carnegie Hall, starring a mix of opera and theatre singers, narrated by Jane Fonda. A new version premiered at Opera Theater of St. Louis in 2017 followed by a production at Detroit Opera, and many more across the country. Also with Gordon, "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis" premiered this past season at New York City Opera and National Yiddish Folksbiene-Theatre, with upcoming productions in Europe.
Korie's original librettos to operas composed by Stewart Wallace include "Harvey Milk," "Where’s Dick?," "Kabbalah," and "Hopper’s Wife." "Harvey Milk" returned in a new “reimagined” version premiered to acclaim this year at Opera Theater of Saint Louis, and will be seen next year at Opera Parallele in San Francisco. Korie’s operas have been produced at San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, BAM Next Wave Festival, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Michigan Opera, and abroad in Germany and Australia.
For theater, his collaboration with Tom Kitt and James Lapine, "Flying Over Sunset," premiered at Lincoln Center Theater with a Tony-nominated score. Korie wrote the lyrics to composer Scott Frankel’s music for the Broadway productions of "War Paint" and "Grey Gardens," with books by Doug Wright, and the Off-Broadway productions of "Far From Heaven " and "Happiness." Their shows have been nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards, received The Outer Critics Circle Award, and been produced on Broadway, Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center Theater, throughout the USA, and internationally.
Korie’s lyrics have received the Edward Kleban Prize, Jonathan Larson Award, and the ASCAP Richard Rodgers Award. His songs with composer Scott Frankel were featured at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage Broadway Today. Korie has been named to the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing. He also co-chairs the Dramatists Guild Opera Committee which holds educational forums and podcasts to create more inclusive and equitable collaborations between composers and playwright/librettists, and produced the short film “Credit the Librettist,” featuring interviews with dozens of opera composers and playwrights. For the Dramatist Guild Foundation, Korie chairs the musical theater division of the Fellows Program for emerging musical theater creators. He teaches musical-theater lyric writing at Yale University, and musical book writing at Columbia University School of the Arts, and leads collaboration seminars for opera composers and theater playwrights for both American Opera Project (AOP) and American Lyric Theater.