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Composer: Knaifel, Alexander
Lyricists: Kramarowa, Tatjana (Lib.)
Opus/Year: (1965/67)
Genre: Children's opera
Instrumentation: 6 S, 2 KnabenS, 4 MS, A, 2 T, 2 Bar, B - 1(Picc),1(EnglHorn),2(Es-Klar,BKlar),1(KFag) - 1*,1*,1*,1* - 5 Schl (Pk, Trgl, Peitsche, Flex, LotosFl, Holzbl, Ratsche, Maracas, Cabaza, 4 Bongos, 4 Tomt, Tamb, kl.Tr, RhrTr, gr.Tr, Bk, 4 hg.Bk, RhrenGl, PlattenGl, 2 Gongs, Tam-t, Glsp, Xyl), Cel/Klav, Org (Tonband), Streicher (1/1/1/1/1[Fnfsaiter]) * auch Steine, Holzstcke, Knochen, Eisenstcke


The American envoy Otis has bought Canterville Castle. Despite all warnings from the ghost living there, the entire family moves in. The Otis family behaves without any respect towards the ghost: they try to wash out the mysterious spot of blood in the library with spot remover (to no avail); to quiet the noise of his rattling chains, they recommend lubricating grease to the ghost, and the twins throw cushions at the enervated ghost. Instead of the Americans being filled with fear and horror, they put the shoe on the other foot and carry on their practical jokes with him. When Virginia meets the ghost on a back stairway, she feels deep compassion for him; she would like to help him. While her family desperately searches for her, Virginia can bring the ghost relief from his restless existence thanks to an old prophecy. Both disappear through the wall
into a tower dungeon where the ghost dies after giving much money to Virginia. Virginia returns at midnight with the news that the ghost of Canterville is dead and has found his peace. They organise a solemn funeral and finally Virginia thanks not least to the considerable dowry given by the ghost can marry her lover, the Duke of Cheshire.