The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco is a double bill production. San Francisco Opera’s final offering for the 2015 Fall season. It presented 2 versions of the same Gothic tale written by Edgar Allan Poe. The two versions are presented in English and French with different composers too. But the haunting tale of a couple of the remaining descendants of the House of Usher are promised to be just as terrifying as that of Poe’s tale.
Poe’s tale is about Roderick Usher. He is the last living male descendant of the House of Usher. And his descent into madness is addressed head-on in the story. The only respite he found in this house is his sister, Madeleine. Losing her would further push buttons. She is sickly herself. With Roderick almost mentally ill and Madeleine physically ill. The close bond formed between the siblings is on the verge of snapping. This is because of their family doctor. The poor Madeleine is locked away by the evil doctor. Reasons? Seeing the double bill The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco will provide all of the answers.
The English part of The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco is entitled “Usher House”. It will feature music and lyrics by San Francisco Opera benefactor Gordon Getty. The introduction at the San Franciscco Opera website was quick to note allegations of catering to a benefactor. Speaking through David Gockley. Getty was acknowledged as a talented composer with his heart right into the project. And the Welsh National Opera is happy to share this production with the San Francisco Opera. With 2 opera companies uniting to unveil “Usher House” to open The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco is valid reason to let the skeptics see this highly-anticipated production for themselves.
Providing the music and libretto for Poe’ Gothic tale is no small feat. Also, he managed to present a tale by including the original author himself. Of course, the Edgar Allan Poe found in “Usher House” is Getty’s fictional version of the renowned literary great. It made sense as an author can write best about stories that he experienced first-hand. Audiences and regular patrons of the San Francisco Opera have yet to confirm if this Poe will be a sober one. That is until they get to see the character for themselves.
The French part of The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco will carry the original title “La Chute de la Maison Usher”. The French adaptation of Poe’s Gothic tale featured music and lyrics by Claude Debussy. But additional help from Professor Robert Orledge of the University of Liverpool was needed. Debussy did not live long enough to finish the music. He managed to complete the libretto though. The version unfolded in The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco through “La Chute de la Maison Usher” will be the reconstruction by Orledge. But it managed to retain Debussy’s vision of the Gothic tale. From the doctor’s jealousy of Madeleine’s closeness to Roderick. To the internal and external demons that kept Roderick distracted from knowing the truth behind his sister’s death. And the visiting friend is unnamed in the French version.
Both parts in The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco will feature the same cast. American soprano Jacqueline Piccolino will assume the role of Madeleine. American baritone Brian Mulligan will take on the role of the deranged Roderick Usher. Musical director for The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco will be Lawrence Foster. David Pountney will be the stage director foreseeing the much-awaited double bill. Pre-Opera talk will be available for the audience an hour before curtains are raised.
The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco opens on 8 December 2015. This also serves as the premiere of the English half of the double bill. Tickets are now available for sale. Click here to view seating arrangements and other dates that fitted your schedule.
Rediscovering the literature of Edgar Allan Poe helps in musical productions like The Fall of the House of Usher in San Francisco. Surely, there would be more exciting updates for musical theater enthusiasts all over the world. In this vein, it would be great to have you subscribe to our online newsletter. Get the freshest articles straight to your inbox. Follow us on our social media accounts too. Like our official Facebook page, Musicals Online. And follow us on Twitter @musicalsnews. Thanks for reading.