Review | Magoria – Hollingsworth Mansion

Butler Records

‘Hollingsworth Mansion’ is the second rock opera to see the light of day from Magoria. Mark Bogert, known from the band Knight Area, also for this chapter found a great cast of fellow musicians willing to collaborate on this work of epic proportions. Writing a rock opera is a skill in itself. The extreme layering, the narrative that goes into it and the different roles must all come into their own and be balanced. That Dutch Magoria has this in its fingers was evident in 2019. That’s when the group came out with the debut ‘JtR1888’. Where ‘JtR1888’ was completely dedicated to the life of Jack the Ripper, this album chooses once again to intertwine murder, hate and love, combined with the twilight world.


On December 11, 1808, the huge mansion of the Hollingsworth family completely burns down. Jefferso Hollingsworth, his wife Lavinia and Jefferso’s mother Elizabet Hollingsworth lose their live in the fire. Jefferso and Lavinia always wanted children, however, that wish was never fulfilled. 

Over a century later, 1931, the prosperous Welbourne family moved into the beautifully renovated castle with their daughter Joanne. Joanne unwittingly manages to open the gateway to the twilight world where the Hollingsworth family waits to fulfill their long-held childhood wish. 

Will the original residents of Hollingsworth regain control of the house? Will Howard Welbourne manage to suppress his love for Lavinia Hollingsworth, or will he choose to leave for the twilight world with Joanne and leave his wife behind? There is only one way to do this …


‘Hollingsworth Mansion’ is a varied album with plenty of room for melody. At times Magoria seeks the bombastic edges and at times the pieces are kept very subtle and small. The compositions are carefully constructed and contribute to a nice narrative experience, which also suits a concept album. In terms of musical direction, of course they were tapped from the prog rock and prog metal keg. Lots of bombastic theatrical power. With the occasional classical moment interspersed with lots of guitar solo work by Bogert. And yes, a rock opera of this caliber always evokes some comparisons with Ayreon. Especially his first work ‘The Final Experiment’ and that is actually only a very positive note. For this work may certainly measure up to this.


Maria Catharina [Valentine] – Lavinia Eden-Hollingsworth,
Rodney Blaze [Ayreon, Star One] – Jefferso Hollingsworth,
Nadine Pruim [Skeftum] – Dolores Welbourne,
Jan Willem Ketelaers [Knight Area]– Howard Welbourne,
Demi Oosterwaal – Joanne Welbourne,
Edward Reekers [Kayak, Ayreon] – William Harris,
Inge Rijnja [Saphira]– Selina Blackaby  
Cindy Oudshoorn [Kayak] – Elizabet Hollingsworth


Mark Bogert [Knight Area] – Guitar,
Remy Hansen – Guitar,
Koen Stam [Ex Libris]– Synth,
Cleem Determeijer [Finch]– Piano,
Luuk van Gerven [Valentine, ex- After Forever] – Bass,
Harmen Kieboom [Ex Libris] – Drums
Matthijs Kieboom – Orch. Arrangements.

The various roles within the story are performed by no fewer than eight singers, all with an excellent track record. On this album as well, they play a fine role. The vocals flow wonderfully into one another, which ensures that there is sufficient variety. The vocal lines are nicely matched and reinforce each other.

Matthijs Kieboom took care of the orchestral arrangements. His track record as a film composer speaks volumes in that respect and as winner of several Awards for his work, that may be clear.


The album has about 15 compositions and with a playing time of just over an hour it never gets boring. What is recommended is to sit down and take the time to listen to the album in one sitting. In my opinion, the story and the accompanying music are then at their best.

Of course, the tracks can be looked at individually, but fair is fair, despite each being tasty songs, ‘Hollingsworth Mansion’ is all about the complete experience. To discuss the structure of the songs one by one seems a bit superfluous to me. Even if there are no vocals for a while then, the musicians know how to prepare the listener for the next exciting piece. That this comes off so well is partly the result of rock-solid work by those behind the controls, as the sound is a major asset here. This Magoria project can certainly compete with projects like Ayreon and I hope that many people will take the time to give Magoria a chance. Fans for this genre are definitely out there.

In fact, this album is required reading for fans of the progrock genre.‘Hollingsworth Mansion’ has become a complete concept album that manages to strike the right chord on all fronts. A love child carefully crafted and beautifully performed by the entire cast!!!



Logged in as