is a musical theater work for solo singer, puppets, masks and
in two acts. It was premiered in February 1997 and features comic and
settings of Appalachian ghost stories, and original material by the
The singer portrays a cast of people, ghosts and monsters by using a
of puppets, and masks, and is accompanied by synthesizers recorded on
GHOSTS!! has been performed at Stetson University, Washington and Lee
the National conference of the Society of Composers at Indiana
Indiana State University, the University of Miami, the University of
the University of Georgia, the University of Tennessee- Martin,
Trinity Methodist Arts Series in Florida, The Grace Church Arts Series
in Jersey City, and St. Petersburg Junior College. In
the work was featured during a week-long residency with Georgia public
schools through a grant from the Oscar Jonas foundation. It was
also performed for the Society of Composers National Conference
University, the University of Louisville, and for
Georgia State University.
by sculptor Brent Oglesbee
In ACT ONE, a singer performs a
cut from his latest album, "Near Death Experience" as the opera opens.
In "A Molten Moment Ago," we learn that he is now having an out of body
episode as he watches himself collapse during a post-concert party. He
enters the nether-world and meets a monstrous sentry who warns him of
arrival of "John," the most feared
denizen of limbo. Next, he witnesses a musical confrontation between
ghost of a concert violinist and the bluegrass banjo player who now
in his house. As the singer continues on his journey, he hears the
music of a spectral country ball and encounters some "Ghostly Dancers"
who dance the first act to a close.
In ACT TWO, yet another sentry
to warn the singer of "John" and to speculate on the human fascination
with the supernatural and death. In "Poised on the Brink of Stillness,"
doubts about an afterlife and anxiety over the isolation of the human
are expressed in a slow aria. Suddenly, the singer stumbles upon a
toe, which he finds laying on the ground. The toe's owner, "Scary
appears to reclaim his lost body part and to bemoan the cruel life of a
monster who is really searching for "a gentler life." Finally, John
and turns out to be none other than Don Giovanni (Don Juan)!
being pulled down to Hades in Mozart's opera, the Don finds himself
some of the questions raised in George Bernard Shaw's "Don Juan
Hell," (the second act of MAN AND SUPERMAN). Finally, the singer
reaffirms his faith in life and returns to the present as he sings "One
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