Carmilla (In Development)

Opera in Two Acts

Music by Robert Paterson • Libretto by John de los Santos

Duration: TBD
Libretto by John de los Santos • Based on the gothic novella of the same name by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.
Instrumentation: 3[1..2/pic.3/pic]  3[1.2.3/Eh]  3[1.2.3/bcl]  3[1.2.3/cbn] — 4  3  3  1 — tmp+3 — hp — pf/cel — str
perc: chimes, xyl, vib, glock, crot (high and low), bd, sd, 4tomtoms, tamtam, cym, marktree, belltree, 2sus cym, tri, tambourine, flexatone, castanets, ratchet
Publisher: Bill Holab Music

Brief Synopsis

Inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu's novella (which predates Bram Stoker's Dracula), Carmilla tells of a precocious young woman named Laura Torehaven, who lives with her widowed mother. Though intended to wed the strapping son of their neighbors, Laura yearns for more in life and love. One evening a coach crashes outside the house and a strange woman named Carmilla is found inside and given refuge in the Torehaven house. Laura finds herself drawn to Carmilla's strange beauty and worldly knowledge, despite a series of nightmares and violent deaths that plague the surrounding village in the following days. Laura willfully relents to Carmilla's charms and comes to know her heart's true nature. A good friend of Laura's mother, Dr. Suero, suspects that Carmilla is a centuries-old mullo (the Romani word for vampire). As Laura grows more and more sick, she refuses to marry her intended or undergo any treatment to cure her. Carmilla seduces Dr. Suero one night, and then murders him. Unable to conceal her identity any longer, Carmilla begs Laura to join her for eternity. Torn by her love, Laura kills Carmilla to stop the cycle of death. In an epilogue, we see that Laura's neighbor has married another and Laura has inherited her family's fortune. She is a free and independent woman, forever stamped by the kiss of her true love, Carmilla.

– John de Los Santos