Praise for Oblivion...


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Oblivion - a new one-act opera

Music and Libretto by Kyle Gullings
Directed by Sasha Brätt

When:
Thr, July 8 @ 6:30pm
Tue, July 13 @ 10:00pm
Fri, July 16 @ 10:15pm
Wed, July 21 @ 10:00pm
Sun, July 25 @ 4:30pm

Where:
The Mountain - at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church
Festival:
 


This production was presented as a part of the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival.




Cast:
Howard - James Rogers
Sonia, his wife - Rachel Barham
Philip, their son / Sage 3 - Alexander Wolniak
Doctor Greene / Sage 2 - Melissa Kornacki
Nurse / Sage 1 - Christine Gahagan

Ensemble:
Flute - Jessica Bateman
Guitar - Jesse Crites
Cello - Daniel Shomper

Crew:
Director - Sasha Brätt
Stage Manager - Alison Goldberg


About the Opera:
Howard is dying. While he suffers through an unexpected illness, prophetic dreams challenge his attachment to life. A chamber opera adapted from a story by H. P. Lovecraft, Oblivion confronts the threshold between existence and whatever follows.

Based on the short story "Ex Oblivione" by early science fiction pioneer H.P. Lovecraft

Contact Kyle or visit his blog for more information:
http://gullings.blogspot.com





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Front Matter


Oblivion FREE 1 - Front matter.pdf Oblivion FREE 1 - Front matter.pdf
Size : 0.115 Kb
Type : pdf


The Plumtree - part 1
(Sonia)

Oblivion FREE 2 - Plumtree 1.mp3

Oblivion FREE 2 - Plumtree part 1.pdf Oblivion FREE 2 - Plumtree part 1.pdf
Size : 0.056 Kb
Type : pdf


The Plumtree - part 2
(Sonia)

Oblivion FREE 3 - Plumtree 2.mp3

Oblivion FREE 3 - Plumtree part 2.pdf Oblivion FREE 3 - Plumtree part 2.pdf
Size : 0.067 Kb
Type : pdf


Second Dream
(Howard, Sages)

Oblivion FREE 4 - Second Dream.mp3

Oblivion FREE 4 - Second Dream.pdf Oblivion FREE 4 - Second Dream.pdf
Size : 0.035 Kb
Type : pdf


Third Dream
(Howard, Sages)

Oblivion FREE 5 - Third Dream.mp3

Oblivion FREE 5 - Third Dream.pdf Oblivion FREE 5 - Third Dream.pdf
Size : 0.045 Kb
Type : pdf


You Begin a Descent
(Sage 2)

Oblivion FREE 6 - You Begin a Descent.mp3

Oblivion FREE 6 - You Begin a Descent.pdf Oblivion FREE 6 - You Begin a Descent.pdf
Size : 0.067 Kb
Type : pdf


Night in Kalapa - part 1
(Howard)

Oblivion FREE 7 - Night in Kalapa 1.mp3

Oblivion FREE 7 - Night in Kalapa 1.pdf Oblivion FREE 7 - Night in Kalapa 1.pdf
Size : 0.059 Kb
Type : pdf


Night in Kalapa - part 2 (Howard)

Oblivion FREE 8 - Night in Kalapa 2.mp3

Oblivion FREE 8 - Night in Kalapa 2.pdf Oblivion FREE 8 - Night in Kalapa 2.pdf
Size : 0.051 Kb
Type : pdf


I Fall Asleep (Philip)

Oblivion FREE 9 - I Fall Asleep.mp3

Oblivion FREE 9 - I Fall Asleep.pdf Oblivion FREE 9 - I Fall Asleep.pdf
Size : 0.056 Kb
Type : pdf




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PRESS

1. Ben Demers (DC Theatre Scene official review)
- "Gullings has created a beautiful, unconventional score befitting Lovecraft’s existential tale."
- "The performers handle the challenging score with panache."
- "[...] a remarkably talented cast."


2. Joel Markowitz (DC Theatre Scene, via Facebook)
- "Oblivion is so beautiful, one hour of sheer beauty."
- "Don't miss it. I'm going to make time to see it again."
- "The Plumtree [...] is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard on the stage."


3. Joel Markowitz, again (DC Theatre Scene)
- Soprano Rachel Evangeline Barham (as Sonia)
listed and interviewed in his "Favorite 2010 Fringe Musical Performances"


4. Featured in the Washington Post's Going Out Guide


5. Bob Anthony (allartsreview4u.com)
- "His libretto was lyrically most adept."
- "Rachel Evangeline Barham and Alexander Wolniak had very smooth legato with sincere acting so they commanded the stage artistically."





AUDIENCE REVIEWS

If you saw the show and want to tell the world, please leave comments here:

Capital Fringe Festival (official Oblivion page)



 




Also, follow the entire process from writing to premiere on my blog using this handy list:

(Contact me with any questions or comments.)

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---FAQ---

How long does it last?
70 minutes in one act

Is it in Italian or what?
It's 100% in English, and you'll be able to hear and understand what they're singing!

People still write operas?
Sure, lots of them. Dozens - perhaps scores each year! If you think operas are all long, boring, and in foreign languages, you've somehow missed about 100 years of opera history. For starters, read up on Benjamin Britten, John Adams, Philip Glass, William Bolcom, etc.!

Is this your first opera?
Yes!

Who wrote the libretto?
I wrote it, having some experience writing poetry and plays. Much of the material is borrowed from public domain writings by William Carlos Williams, Yeats, and many others. There are 14 quoted works - see how many you can recognize!

So all the text predates 1923?
Nearly. Other than my own original words, of particular interest is the only post-1923 author I quoted. I received kind permission on behalf of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, to set his beautiful poem "Night in Kalapa" to music, which became the dramatic centerpiece of my opera.
You can read this and many other fine poems in Snow Lion's Delight (2005), available from Shambhala Media.

How many people are in the opera?
There are 5 singing roles.

What's the orchestration?
It's scored for flute, classical guitar, cello, and 3 singing bowls. Yep, no piano! That's been a fun challenge to write. A singing bowl is a bowl-shaped gong, often used in meditation. They originate in the Himalayas and are "sung" by rubbing a stick around the rim or struck like a gong. Check out Himalayan Bowls for more information.

Who was H. P. Lovecraft anyway?
He's an early writer of science fiction, which was then called "weird fiction." He wrote from about 1900 until 1935. He is most well-known for his creation of detailed, fantastical, terrifying worlds and creatures, typified by the Cthulhu Mythos (named after one of his mythical creations). For some great info and writing samples, visit the H.P. Lovecraft Archive. There's also a long Wiki page about him.

So is your opera really depressing and about death?
Those are two different questions, and no. It centers on one man's death, but is not meant to be depressing. Unlike many fan fiction writers and death metal bands, I found less resonance in Lovecraft's obsession with terror and the macabre than in his richly developed world-creations and his effective storytelling.



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