Opus 485

Dr. Magic (2003)

Chamber Opera in One Act

Soloists (S, T, Bar) and Instrumental Ensemble (

Libretto by Joyce Carol Oates

hrCME; Anthony Cheung, conductor

Duration: 30 min.

Dedication: for Marisa

Commission: Commissioned by hrCME and the Leverett Arts Society

Publisher: Subito Music Corp.

Performance materials available from the publisher.


A married couple celebrating their twelfth wedding anniversary attends a “magic show” performed by the acclaimed Dr. Magic, whose specialty would appear to be telepathy and hypnosis.  Eager to be cast under Dr. Magic’s spell, the husband and wife are revealed as alarmingly suggestible, and capable of feats unthinkable in normal consciousness.  In the end, against our expectations, the hypnotized husband’s love for his wife overcomes Dr. Magic and the two are promised a joint memory of their “happiest” experience.  (Joyce Carol Oates)