“I play the violin when I’m thinking”
The haunting strains of violin music fill the air of the darkened Pocahontas County Opera House. Is it the ghost of Sherlock Holmes trying to solve a mystery? Or is someone else playing the theme of the television series Elementary?
Long-time Pocahontas County Drama Workshop lighting and sound coordinator Frank Ghigo has assembled a montage of soundtracks from a variety of Sherlock Holmes movies and television shows to greet Opera House attendees as they arrive to see the play Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.
“Background sound is such an important aspect of the theatrical experience” said Arla Ralston, director of the play. “We wanted to use music to help create a dramatic mood as an introduction to the performance.”
In addition to the recorded music, Ralston has enlisted the talents of Dunmore resident Paul Marganian, best known locally as the fiddler in the Elk River Ramblers.
“Paul was fabulous when he played for our 4 Fiddlers Opera House fundraiser last fall, “ Ralston said. “I thought he would be perfect to bring some live music to this Holmes mystery.”
Originally from the Boston, Massachusetts area, Marganian and his wife moved to Pocahontas County 12 years ago to work at the NRAO. Marganian took violin and piano lessons as a child, moved on to rock electric bass as a teen, then resumed his violin training while in college.
“But, I’m always ‘in training’ really,” he explained. “In addition to my formal music education, I’ve traveled a bit, and tried to become familiar with the music in the local culture I find myself in. I hadn’t played bluegrass or old-time Appalachian music at all until I moved here, and I’m still learning.”
Part of that learning has come through his association with fellow Elk River Ramblers Terry Richardson, Galen Watts and the late Alan Duchess. And although the Ramblers have played at numerous local venues, including the Opera House, the Holmes performance will be Marganian’s theater debut.
“I’ve got some practicing to do!” he joked.
Ghigo’s and Marganian’s music can be heard before, and during the intermission of, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure Friday, May 15, and Saturday, May 16, beginning at 8 p.m. at the Opera House in Marlinton. Tickets are $10 and available at the door.
For more information visit the Opera House website at http://www.pocahon tasoperahouse.org/ and the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau website at http://www.poc ahontascountywv.com/