09/24/2016 - Usher House/La Chute de la Maison Usher

Posted by Kimberly Powell on 09/19/2016



Usher House/La Chute de la Maison Usher


This week, fans of Edgar Allan Poe will especially enjoy San Francisco Opera’s national premiere based on the writer’s famous 1839 short story, The Fall of the House of Usher. Moreover, in the course of the afternoon, the positively gothic story involving a haunted ancestral house, a beautiful pale maiden, a sickly protagonist, oversensitive to light and sound, and his old friend (the narrator) is told twice in a double bill of one-act operas – Gordon Getty’s Usher House and Claude Debussy’s La Chute de la Maison Usher. The first one, with Getty’s libretto, puts Poe himself in the role of the narrator/friend (Jason Bridges), adding an interesting personal touch to the dark and poignant story the author is mostly known for.   The second opera presents Debussy’s libretto (inspired by Charles Baudelaire's translation of Poe's story) and the composer's unfinished musical score from 1909-1917,  completed by Robert Orledge.  The entire production is directed by Lawrence Foster, and is a co-production of San Francisco Opera and Welsh National Opera.

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