THE ROCK OPERA

"O SING unto the Lord a new song." ~ Psalm 95:1 (KJV)



 

ABOVE: 2012 Karlovema painting by artist Paul David Slagle





 "Karlovema: An Epic Rock Poem" ~ Written by Michael James Fry

 



 

Cast of Characters in Order of Appearance:


The Crowd - The Reason

Chorissa - The Hostess

The Ringmaster - A Carnival Barker

The First Mask  - An Heavenaly Oracle

The Second Mask  - An Heavenly Oracle

The Third Mask - An Heavenly Oracle

The Roots Man - A Karmic Sage

Remavyen - Everyman

Sera - A Guardian Angel

Legion - A Devil

The First Demon - A Court Jester

The Second Demon - Another Court Jester

A Soldier - A Pawn in the Gam

The Parents - The Hostages of Circumstance

Uncle Sam  - A Player

*** 



 

 Musical Numbers for Act One:

     Musical Numbers for Act Two: 

Impulse                                                                                  The Ringmaster and The Crowd

Starborn Color Expolsion                                                                  The Crowd

Quantum Karma*                                               The Crowd

Journey to the Center of Now                             Remavyen, The Roots Man Sera and The Crowd

*Introductions / The Bumbling Fools / Stage Fright           The Ringmaster, The Roots Man, Remavyen and Sera

Frightful Game                                                                                  Legion and his demons

*Prism Blues                                                                                                  A Soldier, His Parents, Uncle Sam and The Crowd

Mindful Occurances                                                                                The Crowd

Dreams and Nightmares                                                               Remavyen (with a special appearance by The Ringmaster)

The Bottom Line                                                                              Remavyen and The Roots Man

New Music In My Soul                                                                     Remavyen and Sera

*Walking Down The Road                                                                 Remavyen

Karmic Prayer                                                                                Remavyen, The Roots Man and The Crowd 

 

Rambling Prism Blues*                                           The Ringmaster and The Crowd

Writer's House / Look at Him Sitting There Remavyen and The Two Demons

Say What You Want (But Don't Say Goodbye)      Sera

Smokey Lights                                                          Remavyen and Sera

The Mirror Spies*                                                                Remavyen, Sera, The Roots Man and Legion

Glimpsing The Event Horizon                                Remavyen, The Roots Man, Sera and The Crowd

Rainbow Therapy*                                                   The Roots Man, Remavyen and The Crowd

Surfing The Calabi-Yau                                                   Remavyen, The Roots Man, Sera and The Crowd

Return Flight                                                             The Crowd

Journey to the Center of Now (reprise)                Remavyen, The Roots Man, Sera and The Crowd

*Indicates a sighting of The Masks!



 

 Internet praise for the music of Karlovema: 

 

STARBORN COLOR EXPLOSION

 "Very moving. I feel the emotion. The lyrics and melody take you to another place. Atmospheric!"                ~ Therese DeMatteo

"This piece of music is amazing! I would love to see the choreography that goes with it. If you close your eyes while listening the music first draws you in softly and then gets very intense. I could actually feel my heart rate going up there in the middle od the song . . . Wonderful job and what an awsome opening song!"  ~ Tammy Chandler-Bull

"I was just thinking the same thing, I'd love to see the dance to this . . . I like all the songs but I think this one is my favorite!" Liz Tullis

"For me, this composition inspires a lot of imagry, so I am excited to see how it comes to frutition. You can sense that a journey building and about to unfold, but to where? Let's find out! Your passion is definetely evident in your work . . . continue to allow it to speak through you. When I listen, I am also entertaining the multitude of movement possibilities (given the emotion captured in the power of this piece). Cheers!"  ~ J.D. Frankland

"Wow! Michael, this is amazing. I am very impressed with your talent and creativity. Your extensive artistic background is evident in the beginning and then culmination of this piece. I look forward to following your successes . . ." Nita Stallard

"It was like you were conjuring up [something]. Very Impressed like a big prayer to the universe. WOW."            ~ Tammy Gibson-Byrne

"[Starborn Color Explosion] is my favorite . . . It's very colorful and beautiful to listen to. I think it's a perfect opening! I really have to thank you because this is interesting and I enjoy this kind of thing. It's keeping my brain sharp! And I like your guitar . . . " ~ Susan Edwards

"This is my favorite also. You can't help but be drawn into the music! One of the things that makes your music so great is the connection you have with it. It is [as though] your guitar is a part of you and the music is coming from deep inside you. The listener can really feel that excitement and passion. The end of one number is like the end of a great movie, it leaves the listener waiting for the sequel!" ~ Fonda Dawkins

"This sound is so unique. It combines the sounds of peace with the sounds of anguish. I can hear your heart calling out to God, and almost visualize the music dripping drops of colors from each note . . . kind of like a rainbow explosion. You have great talent. Keep up the uniqueness in your work . . . How do you come up with all these great melodies? The beat, the rhythm, the inner connection to the soul is amazing! I have listened to several of your songs from Karlovema and am totally in musical bliss! You put your heart and soul into all you do and it comes out in your music. Awsome work, Michael! You are an amazing artist. You and your guitar will end up in the Music Hall of Fame." ~ Kimberly Cline-Greenhill

"Acoustic Opera that rocks . . . " ~ Rob Bardnell

"I'd like to see the dance that goes with this . . . Can't wait to see this produced so I can see all of it instead of one video at a time." ~ Marsha Duffield



 





INTRODUCTIONS

"I think this is my second fave. The energy wafting out from you is crazy stuff. Keep on, keepin' on!!"        ~ Bonita Bilyeu-Baker

"Wow, Michael! You can really feel your passion for you music when you listen to this. It's not just something to listen to, but it is something to experience! Great job!"  ~ Fonda Dawkins

 

 "I like this song! I want to  hear more!"  ~ Marsha Duffield






JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF NOW 

 "One of the things that makes your music so great is the connection you have with it. It is though your guitar is a part of you and the music is coming from deep inside you. The listener can really feel that excitement and passion. Thanks for sharing it with us!" ~ Fonda Dawkins

"[Journey to the Center of Now is] good stuff. Very cool riff. Guitar and vocals are one. It's good to show love for your instrument. Ravi Shankar of the guitar." ~ David Massengill

"Mike you are so amazing with a guitar, like your telling a story!!" ~ Lisa Mccoy-Horn

"Wow. I feel a huge purpose here . . . I hear so many things. [Glimpsing The Event Horizon] is timeless. It sounds like the past and the future all in one! I see lots of color with this! I see many people! The music is medatitive and energizing at the same time. I do not think I have heard anything like it. Original and makes me want to hear more! I see . . . an amazing dance piece! The music I am hearing as I write this is timeless.  It is The Human Spirit."  ~ Stephen Fry 





DREAMS AND  NIGHTMARES 

" . . . Definetely liked listening to it and seeing the way you really put yourself into your music. It's refreshing to see somebody actually enjoying [doing] music instead of looking like they are at a job and it's something they have to do. Keep up the good work."  ~ Scott Anspach

" . . . Anyway, your music helped me relax and get out of the hole I had fallen into for a minute."                       ~ Carlos Rodriguez

 






NEW MUSIC IN MY SOUL 

"I really like this. I enjoy the feeling that the music gives me, it's an awesome number. There seems to be so much heart and soul into this song. Very good job!"  ~ Bonita Bilyeu-Baker

 






KARMIC PRAYER 

"I knew Michael Fry as a very talented actor who was intelligent, subversive, (but who passed with enormous charm,) acerbic and witty. Now that many years have passed since our paths last crossed, it is with wonder, amusement, respect and admiration that I see the man he has become. I love that you have embrace your music and art so completely . . . your music is absolutely hypnotic and compelling and the vision you have for its eventual performance is an exciting possibility. You are dreaming big." ~ David Pincus

 

"[Karmic Prayer] is a very intense piece of art. The way your spirit gets totally involved with the music is a sight to see. You can tell you love your work. Great piece of music . . . I felt a lot better after watching and listening." Bonita Bilyeu-Baker






GLIMPSING THE EVENT HORIZON 

 "That was cool! Right when you said, 'The Jesus Guitar,' the light reflected as if in time and sync with the syllables and everything! As for the music, I so envision a dance to [Glimpsing the Event Horizon]. Good job, and good playing!" ~ Ross Fillmore

INTERESTING: At exactly 0:53 seconds into this video, I name this instrument as "The Jesus Guitar" and in that exact moment there is a very obvious reflection of LIGHT in one of the mirrors on the Guitar itself. This video was recorded on a laptop computer - there is just no way I could have faked the timing of such an extraordinary coincidence. It demonstrates something that I call "Divine Karma."    TheRootsMan 

 



 





General Feedback:

"Michael, you not merely a performer, you are a true artist. This is such an excellent collection; spiritual, energetic and visionary. Karlovema: An Epic Rock Poem is a magnificent triumph of artistry and will no doubt leave an indelible impact for years to come."  ~ Alison Sullivan

"You impress us with your guitar composition."             ~ Natalie Roman-McDonald

 "I watched two - Wow!"   ~ Kim Armstrong

"It's truly an impressive amount of work and passion that has gone into your opera. But it's the dedication and love that shines through that's most impressive!"  ~ Tracey Becker

"I saw some of your music online and I absolutely LOVED it!!! L.O.V.E! You are an amazingly talented musician and performer."  ~ Liam Torres

" . . . Anyway, your music helped me relax and get out of the hole I had fallen into for a minute."           ~ Carlos Rodriguez

"Needs to be produced." ~ Greg Karjala

"I listened to a lot of the transitions of the journey through the poem. I must say you got it rocking brother! I could just imagine what it would sound like with acoustics and a [sound] system. Keep it up, would like to hear it when finish or make your final changes, but so far, I like what I hear." ~ Keith Satterfield

"I love your music, Michael! So did my daughters!!!"    ~ Valerie Holland-Hughes

 "Watched two. Very impressed. Nice Job. Look forward to more." Janet McKenzie

"The playing on these videos is so intricate and difficult its astonishing . . . The chord changes are amazing and complicated and it sounds great!"             ~ Nancy Marine-Dickenson 

"If you could have played with Syd Barrett, rock and roll might be different today." ~ Mike McGlothin

 


 


 Synopsis:

LEGEND: PURPLE = SONG  BLUE = POEM

Act One begins with a gathering of The Crowd as the moody and gossamer music of Impulse releases the unfolding images of the Opening Ceremony. Chorissa, a hostess for the events of the evening, pulls a poster from off an artists' easel (as she does at the beginning of every song) revealing the name of the song being performed. As the actors enter the stage and prepare for all that is about to come, The Ringmaster steps forward to lead all rising anticipations into the dizzying crescendos of Starborn Color Explosion, an expositional song and dance celebrating The Star of Bethlehem. The Crowd then hauntingly takes us through the random precision of The Divine Autograph in Quantum Karma, a dazzling study in the omnipresence of The One True God. Next, The Three Masks (who appear in the guise of angelic oracles from heaven) step forward in The First Dialogue to discuss the nature of universal free will. This sets the stage for the entire company to take us through a Journey to the Center of Now - the one and only psychedelic rock and roll apologetic for Karlovema. In The Second Dialogue, The Three Masks explore the value of perception, and then The Ringmaster gathers everyone together to more formally introduce the players to the audience. The Roots Man, (who is our better judgement,) Remavyen, (who is each of us individually and collectively,) and Sera, (who is the Guardian Angel over all the people of the earth,) each step forward and sing of who they are in Introductions, and then Legion (a devil) and his demons stumble through their pre-show neuroses in The Bumbling Fools/Stage Fright only to more forcefully take the stage and deliver the hard rocking Frightful Game, a not-so-friendly warning about the evils of drug and alcohol addiction. The Three Masks then express informed balances over whether or not Remavyen understands that God forgives in The Third Dialogue. And as if in response to this, The Crowd intensely dances us through Prism Blues, a pressured ballet of necessary concern exploring our current global social/political/spiriual status quo vs. our very real potential for planetary suicide. The biting Mindful Occurences then opportunes The Crowd to bring this process into more of a personalized focus, which culminates in the ghostly Dreams and Nightmares, Remavyen's confessional reaction to all that we've seen so far. With conflicts growing in his mind, Remavyen struggles with The Roots Man to bring forward what is most important in life in The Bottom Line. At the prompting of The Roots Man, Remavyen then receives a visit from Sera, his Guardian Angel. In New Music In My Soul, she gives him words of hope and comfort, helping to prepare him for the crucial task of owning up to personal truth before time runs out. Once anxieties have been relieved, there is an interruption because realization is not attainment; and in his confusion, Remavyen is left alone on stage. The Three Masks discuss the role of responsibility for all this in The Forth Dialogue; and then by himself on stage Remavyen sings the solomn, Walking Down The Road, a personal soliloquy a cappella. The brutal honesty of this moment brings clarity enough for The Roots Man to return to Remavyen's mind. Now reunited with his better judement, Remavyen and The Roots Man, (along with the rest of The Crowd,) close Act One with a very extravagant ritual: an enormous, multi-layered spectacle of psychedelic prayer, song, dance, smoke and moving images designed to help prepare Remavyen to face life on life's terms in the vampy and tormented throes of Karmic Prayer.

When The Ringmaster opens up Act Two with a poetic warning, things begin burning in the streets in the heavy sounding Rambling Prism Blues. Because of this, the omnicience of God becomes the focus of The Three Masks in The Fifth Dialogue. Remavyen further dissects this situation in Writer's House, an icy dirge into the mindful shadows of a lost poet. Legion's demons have been present for this, then observe and mock Remavyen in Look At Him Sitting There, prompting Sera to offer up a personal lament in Say What You Want (But Don't Say Goodbye). WIth each bemoaning a loss of love, Sera and Remavyen sing through their melancholy in Smokey Lights. Still unaware of either Sera or The Roots Man, the moment has come to face all truth in The Mirror Spies - compelling The Three Masks to conclude the omnipotence of "the eternal mind of timeless understanding," in The Sixth Dialogue, which could only lead Remavyen directly into his personal Journey to the Center of Now. There is a meeting somewhere between here and heaven, perhaps closer to heaven than here; and this is where Sera reveals the hypnotic beauty of Karlovema to Remavyen in the mesmurizing rock ballet Glimpsing The Event Horizon. Following this is the revelatory Rainbow Therapy, where Remavyen realizes that The Roots Man is not a figure outside of himself - thus delivering a permanency to the hope and comfort that Sera had previously prepared him for. Pleased with this, The Three Masks emphasize how Holy Awareness brings a releasefrom darkness in The Seventh Dialogue, which paves the way for the voluntary exit of Legion and his bumbling crew. The Ringmaster and Chorissa then gather everyone else together to sing and dance with a huge celebration in Surfing The Calabi-Yau. In the midst of all this, a transitional ballet called Return Flight seamlessly brings us back into a reprise of Journey to the Center of Now - closing the show on a high note as all then exuent into the future.

***


Here are two out of  The Seven Dialogues  from the show . . .


The First Dialogue

THE FIRST MASK: (spoken) With love the Lord has shown Himself to give all things to man that he may find the Path;  for the search that surely brings a man to live in truth will kill the thrill of Satan's wrath.

THE SECOND MASK: (spoken) All things are here for each of you to use, that which is good and that which is not, indeed; Though a sinful manner allows for man to abuse those things    for which he has the least of need.

THE THIRD MASK: (spoken) Woe unto those who mock and oppose their foes who are angels in disguise; for you will        see how carefully they show The Holy Prize -  no lies in    Divine repair, clear eyes see fairly.

THE FIRST MASK: (spoken) But man is born inherently torn between all that is good and bad; he may not try to die a death which makes him forever unclean - but does he know how this may be, and why?

THE SECOND MASK: (spoken) The evidence here clearly   shows how man does search for what is held most dearly inside. All are free to steer, to hold, to look and plan where to perch, where to boldly roam and where to hide.

THE THIRD MASK: (spoken) This freedom for all is granted to man that he may fill his heart's most innermost desires;           though the will of man gets quite out of hand when he fights with rites against what God requires.



 

 The Forth Dialogue

THE FIRST MASK: (spoken) Man is meant to perceive a good intent and he plainly shows this truth continually; but with values questioned, namely his judgments are sent in dances of circles, seeing peripherally.

THE SECOND MASK: (spoken) However stubborn in awareness, each person has a logical disdainment; though the time is near when clearly love will impeach the need for greed to lead to holy containment.

THE THIRD MASK: (spoken) Igorance isn't always to blame, and man will come to know this truth when he allows it; and as with all things, nothing is known until from elsewhere it is proposed and accepted.

THE FIRST MASK: (spoken) This is evenly true for mindfulness to be conscious of itself in higher presence; an heavenly color of soul called consciousness, evolutionary prominence.

THE SECOND MASK: (spoken) Yes, the evolution of now is imparted in the mind, the body and in the soul of ambition; just as love had originally started now reborn in the heart of The Human Condition.

THE THIRD MASK: (spoken) Incomplete unless acknowledged then, should man be blamed for what he doesn't know? See how sad for him who's lost again - will he favor life or savor strife on his own?

 



 

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