Mr. Campbell’s Inspector libretto is, if anything, even funnier than Volpone. The rhymes and jokes fly fast and thick, and there are plenty of recognizable zingers as well. Musto and Campbell—and Wolf Trap—may finally have discovered a formula for creating small, approachable, appealing, high quality American operas finally capable of reaching the broader audience this genre needs to survive and prosper in the quiet desperation of 21st century that none of us really expected.
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 in fact something more, a subtle opera about power, hypocrisy and greed.
As a comedy, The Inspector is laced heavily with darkness, with pungent notes of surrealism. One example, played to the hilt in Campbell’s libretto, has the characters, through a series of lies and exaggerations, singing “hello” to each other in parting. For all its laughs, The Inspector is a work that feels startlingly unsettling and truly contemporary.
—Boston Classic Review
I know, I know —the words "opera" and "laugh riot" rarely meet in the same sentence. But Boston Lyric Opera's The Inspector, the new work by composer John Musto and librettist Mark Campbell, might make you re-think all that. This is simply one of the funniest shows of the year. Actually, it IS the funniest show of the year, period.
—The Hub Review