A Ghost Opera in 1 Scene
Music by Russell Plows
Libretto after the short story by Rosemary Timperley
THE WOMAN, c.50 … Soprano
THE YOUNG MAN, c.20 … Tenor
Time and Place
The present, an ordinary rented room
An older woman, alone at Christmas in a rented room, is thinking about Christmases past when a young man bursts in. He is strangely dressed and seems confused that he has the wrong room. The two strike up a conversation and the woman discovers that he is a poet, though his family strongly object to his chosen profession. The woman is attentive and the young man, excited at having found a sympathetic ear, begs her to read his work. She agrees but decides first that they should share coffee and plum cake. However, when she returns, the boy is gone. Disappointed, she settles down to read a book taken at random from the bookshelf. The book tells of a strange encounter the author had when returning to his room one Christmas. A woman was already in his room and he thought she must be a ghost though not a frightening one. After a brief chat, she disappeared. A final note explains that this was the final entry, the author having died later that night.