John Musto                      Composer/Pianist

“The red carpet was out—literally—at the entrance to Wolf Trap’s Barns Wednesday evening, greeting patrons attending the world premiere production of John Musto’s and Mark Campbell’s new opera, The Inspector. Based on Nikolai Gogol’s classic political satire, “The Government Inspector,” and commissioned by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, the openng night performance sparkled with the wit and humor of Mr. Campbell’s puckish libretto and the almost Charles Ivesian musical trickery of Mr. Musto’s deliciously contemporary score. Mr. Campbell’s frequently rhyming libretto is heavy on political satire with an Italian flavor spiced with Washington allusions. Mr. Musto’s music is characteristically American, with copious references to popular Italian tunes (including one you can’t really sing over there), the tricky rhythmic idioms of Leonard Bernstein, and even a touch of underhanded American patriotism.”

- Washington Times


“An opera about corrupt petty bureaucrats set in fascist Italy might not sound like most people’s idea of light-hearted entertainment. But composer John Musto and librettist Mark Campbell manage to pull it off in The Inspector. Their newest collaboration is a rollicking treat, almost from start to finish.  Musto’s tuneful, eclectic score cheerfully borrows from such wildly disparate sources as Sicilian folk songs, a fascist anthem and popular hits of the 1950s and 1960s by Julius La Rosa and Dominique, the Singing Nun.”

- Associated Press


“I was sitting at the opera last night, laughing out loud (repeatedly) at the world premiere of John Musto's comedy The Inspector, when a question came to mind: What happened to all the funny operas?...Musto's score — sparkling, with whiffs of Bernstein and Rota — kept tickling my ear, and librettist Mark Campbell's witty wordplay kept cracking me up...”

- NPR Classical


“The Inspector is not an update of the original, but a wholly new concept. A collaboration of the dynamic duo composer John Musto and librettist Mark Campbell, it is witty and sophisticated with a satirical bite. On the surface, The Inspector is a whimsical little piece about mistaken identities, using many styles of vibrant music to portray simple ideas. Thanks to the intelligence of Musto, Campbell and director Leon Major, The Inspector is something more, a subtle opera about power, hypocrisy and greed. The whimsy is simply charming camouflage.

- Washington Examiner


“There was plenty of depth in the music... His score is studded wit”h dance rhythms and patter figures and even a recurring Italian-film-score motif (you can imagine a camera panning over ocher walls blurred by the rising heat). It also draws heavily on the musical theater idiom of Bernstein and Sondheim, rife with syncopations and catchy but complex melodies.  The resulting music sparkles; it’s also rendered with a harmonic substance and intricacy that give the ear a lot to enjoy every step of the way. Happily, these performances are being recorded for a forthcoming CD.”  

- Washington Post                         

Instrumentation:


2 Flutes (Piccolo)

Oboe

English Horn

2 Clarinets (Bass Clarinet)

2 Bassoons (Contrabassoon)


2 Horns


Percussion


Strings


Banda:

Mandolin

Accordion

Tuba

      The Inspector (Complete)

Moores Opera Center Production

         University of Houston