Libretti

 The Fashionable Vices

A one act satire.  Commissioned by Opera Americana and premiered in 1990, Kathleen Baker, Artistic Director.  When John Gay is passed over for a political appointment, he retaliates by writing a book of fables.  No ordinary fables, though:  These ostensibly pleasant children's tales lampoon prominent politicians of his day, portraying them as conniving critters.  So what else is new?  The foibles portrayed here are actual scandals of his day that have replayed up into our present: The ant who was Minister of Defense caught embezzling, the young Rooster who blames every one but himself for his misfortunes: These are based on events and persons that history still recognizes.

Interspersed between the fables are the writings of Gay and fellow members of the Scriberlus Club: Swift, Pope and Arbuthnot.  Full of panache and insight, their writing directly reflects and expands upon the topic of each fable, gradually bringing to light the thin and dangerous line between art and politics in eighteenth century England.  ["...exciting opera" according to the Alexandria Journal newspaper, October 23 1990.]  The libretto presented here is an expanded full length version of the original one act opera.

Nancy

A full length dramatic opera.  Commissioned by Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia and premiered in 2004, John Edward Niles, Artistic Director.  The Washington Post  stated this, my first full-length opera, comparable to similar efforts by Puccini and Verdi [See the May 13 preview, Style section, and the May 17, 2004 review].  Based on actual events, it is the story of Nancy Randolf after her 1793 acquittal for murder and incest.  But the question remains: was she guilty of being just too naive and indiscreet in love, or was she actually that cunning and manipulative?

The opera tells the story of her leaving her family in disgrace to search for a new life and of her running battle with a past that never seems to be too far behind.

 

        Prose

The Race

The short story about the legacy of the inner strength instilled in a young man by being raised in a small rural community and that legacy's collision with the rough reality of real estate speculation, a budding career in an urban university and a rogue bear.

Ball Game 

A short story about a widowed army officer and his efforts to raise two small boys, told during his twelve year old's pitching in the championship play-off game.

The Fashionable Vices 

A full length novel base on the libretto of the one act opera.  The opera's action - set in eighteenth century - contrasts with the contemporary life of the work's composer.  Against tremendous odds he earned a front row seat creating works for the most difficult of art forms and in the process discovers unshakable truths.