The Monkey's Paw
A guest, a Sergeant-Major who has served in India, arrives and tells of his magic monkey's paw and the evil it has brought on the people who wished on it. Before leaving, he throws the paw in the fireplace. When he is gone the father takes the paw out of the fireplace and wishes for enough money to pay off the mortgage on their house. Nothing happens.
They go up to bed and come down to breakfast the next morning. Nothing happens and Herbert, the son, goes to work. Shortly after that a carriage driver arrives to tell the parents that Herbert has been killed. The driver says his company will help with burial expenses and gives the parents the exact amount of money the father had wished for. The mother wants her son back. Her husband, however, prevents her from seeing the horror of Herbert's mangled body come to life with the third wish. It is a good story for Halloween Week.
DeRosa's song-like piano score accompanies the voices to good advantage and never overpowers them. She makes a fine impression with her first opera. I am told that she may add a string quartet to the accompaniment or orchestrate the score for a chamber ensemble. I'd like to see this opera again in any form available. Pianist and conductor Douglas Sumi played DeRosa's piano score with great style and consummate virtuosity.
Phil Meyer and Marina Harris created credible characters as caring but greedy parents while William Grundler was a warm-voiced dutiful son. As the Sergeant-Major, Ben Lowe proved to have the most resonant and shining male voice of the evening as he described the workings of “The Monkey's Paw.” David Samuel Childs was a credible Carriage Driver.