Luke Swenson

A native of Utah County, Luke Swenson is co-founder and librettist for the Deseret Experimental Opera Company. Swenson’s work with DEXO began with the short epistolary libretto for Strawberries in the Hive, a story of love lost in space.  His first first full length opera, A Parking Lot for Hyacinths, received a grant from the BYU School of Music and premiered at the Nelke Experimental Theater. In 2015, Swenson laid the blueprint for the improvised opera The Heavenly City about the migraines of the 12th century composer, poet, scientist, and visionary Hildegard von Bingen.

In his latest DEXO contribution, Swenson produced the opera Red Lake (winner of the 2017 Alfred Lambourne Prize) based on his libretto about an ill-fated exhibition to Antelope Island, which premiered at the 2016 Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival. The work focuses on the unique and often overlooked, if not maligned, ecosystem of the Great Salt Lake. Apart from his work with DEXO, Swenson is the author of the self-published chapbook Proportion and Ornament and his poems have been published in the journals Inscape, Lost Sparrow Press and Likewise Folio and are forthcoming in the journal Porcupine. His work as a performance poet has been featured at Red Butte Garden’s Garden After Dark, Avant GaRawge and 12 Minutes Max. Swenson has a B.A. in German from BYU. He currently lives in Salt Lake City and loves reading, writing, and working for the Salt Lake Public Library.