My best friend, Igor Martak, had everything going for him. He was strikingly handsome with a baritone voice that could charm anyone. His wife, Victoria, was a few weeks pregnant and they lived in a idyllic cottage in Riga, Latvia. He had the leading role of Mister X in Emmerich Kálmán’s tragic opera, The Circus Princess. He was warned by other singers that the opera was cursed; and anyone who plays Mister X is doomed, but it was a challenge he was willing to take. Like an opera, his life quickly changed. Igor’s parents and friends accused his wife, Victoria, and his in-laws of putting a magical love spell on him because his wife was incredibly ugly and plain, and a striking contrast to the dashing and outgoing Igor. His family believed Victoria was a witch practicing the dark arts, and tried to counter her influence on Igor by hiring another wizard. The infighting between families and the stress of preparing for Mister X got the better of Igor, and he became more distant from everyone he loved. Then one day, everything got worse. His neighbor was a 76-year old retired special forces soldier with the Soviet army, and a gun enthusiast who turned his home into a fortress in preparation for the next global war. On August 2, his neighbor was celebrating Airborne Force Day, where all Russian soldiers get drunk and bask in their past glories. For some reason unknown to everyone, his neighbor took an illegal sawed-off shotgun and first shot and killed Victoria and later wounded Igor – only to finish him a few minutes later with a fatal head-shot. But, this is the only the beginning of the opera! The battle for Igor’s body between the feuding families and the influence of black-magic are the backdrop for my journey to discover the truth about my friend’s death.