White Witch: A One-Act Monodrama for Contralto & Percussion Starts Halloween Off in Fine Fashion

October 22, 2014 8:42 PM

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Composer Brian Schober had been vacationing for at least a decade in Ocho Rios, Jamaica when one day he discovered the legendary Rose Hall, a plantation house located outside of Montego Bay. The property turned out to have a fascinating back story dating back hundreds of years. A woman named Annie Palmer once lived there, born in Haiti to English-Irish diplomats. After her parents' death she was raised by her Haitian nanny, who practiced voodoo and taught the little girl the black arts. Annie eventually met and married John Palmer and lived with him at Rose Hall in Jamaica.

Schober told me that the legend goes that Annie Palmer used voodoo to kill her husband and two subsequent spouses. Possessed of an insatiable sexual appetite, she also murdered a series of lovers and rivals, including plantation slaves, in cold blood. Palmer met her comeuppance when one of her forme...

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