for 5 singers and chamber ensemble
(2010) 60′

Image by the composer

Libretto by the composer, adapted from numerous sources.

Instrumentation: 2 sopr, 1 mezzo, 1 tnr, 1 bar; fl, gtr, vc, 3 Himalayan singing bowls played by the 3 instrumentalists. Selected excerpts also available in piano-vocal.

The playlist below contains multiple movements.
Click the “next chapter” icon to advance, or select a scene from the playlist on the top left.

This was recorded July 2010, at “The Mountain” at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, as part of the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C.  Performers include:

  • Rachel Barham, soprano (“The Plumtree”)
  • Alexander Wolniak, tenor (“Our Grey Indifference”)
  • James Rogers, baritone (“Night in Kalapa”)
  • Jessica Bateman, flute
  • Jesse Crites, guitar
  • Daniel Shomper, cello
  • Sasha Brätt, stage director
  • Alison Goldberg, stage manager

Score: Oblivion

Program Notes:
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…


  • “The Plumtree” – Text adapted from the poem “The Widow’s Lament in Springtime” by William Carlos Williams
  • “Our Grey Indifference” – Original text by the composer
  • “Night in Kalapa” – poem by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, from Snow Lion’s Delight: 108 Poems (Halifax, N.S.: The Kalapa Court, 2005). Used by permission.

Honors for Oblivion:

Reviews of Oblivion:

“Oblivion is so beautiful, one hour of sheer beauty.”
     – Joel Markowitz, DC Theatre Scene

“Composer and librettist Kyle Gullings has created a beautiful, unconventional score befitting Lovecraft’s existential tale. […] Oblivion is an elegant, melancholy production that deals with the heady theme of death and rebirth with its own dignified style. With a one-hour runtime, Oblivion is a brief but wholly worthwhile journey, boasting a dreamy score, polished performances, and an existential debate that plants itself firmly in the minds of the audience.”
     – Ben Demers, DC Theatre Scene


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