In The Monster Opera, a writer travels to Mexico City in search of a new story, but the monsters are already waiting for her. The more she writes, the more their whereabouts, as well as their desperation, are revealed. The result is a gothic literary noir, a genre-bending novel-meets-libretto that combines recitative with dialogue, aria with prose, and ultimately asks the question: Who owns a story?
The Monster Opera started as a “flash novel,” a phrase coined by its writer, Nancy Stohlman, then mutated into a postmodern, compressed extravaganza that has grown into a hearty full-length production under the command of Stohlman and composer Nick Busheff. Originally staged as part of the book’s release in 2013, The Monster Opera is back for one night only, with the original cast, at the Mercury Cafe.
“It’s about a writer who steals stories,” explains Stohlman. “She steals the wrong story in search of a new story from these opera singers, and she’s telling their story and they’re trying to get it back. And they’ve been in hiding, and as she’s writing their story, she’s revealing them…. It’s about who owns the story.”
The presentation takes place at 7:30 p.m. October 30 at the Mercury, 2199 California Street. For tickets, $12 to $15, and information, visit nancystohlman.com/monsteropera.