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[T]he music stands remarkably well on its own – rather like a string of pearls....
Ching might well be tempted to craft a concert suite without the transitional material." His early miniature opera Leo: Opera in One Cat is a jazz-based 15-minute one-act opera, with a libretto by Fernando Fonseca based on Cal Massey's story "Leo Spat".
He told the Memphis Daily News, "Barbara and I always had a plan that I would be able to stay home and write and she would be the one carrying the economic ball.
With no reeds, no mouthpieces, no strings, no sticks, the variety of sounds they were capable of making was virtually unlimited.
By the end of my first rehearsal with them I was hooked and eager to apply this new sonic palette to opera." After conducting Marcus Hummon's Shakespeare-filled Surrender Road, he reflected that "with its potential for three sonic worlds inhabited by the Athenians, the fairies, the rude mechanicals, A Midsummer Night’s Dream seemed a perfect vehicle for exploring a colorful prism of a cappella styles." Ching has noted that his eclectic compositional style was influenced by what Gershwin was trying to accomplish in Porgy and Bess: "He was writing something that surfs between pop and opera.
In reviewing the work the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that "Buoso's Ghost soared ....
[it] offered highly charged acting atop a deft, tuneful score....Many people love Porgy, but nobody ever tries to write an opera like it.