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Philip Glass

Publisher: Chester Music

The Fall of the House of Usher (1988)
commissioned by the American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, MA and the Kentucky Opera
Work Notes
Opera in two acts. Libretto (English) by Arthur Yorinks based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.
Text Writer
Arthur Yorinks based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe
Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc
Opera and Music Theatre
Year Composed
1 Hour 30 Minutes
English, German
Soprano, 2 Tenors, Baritone, Bass

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Programme Note
Philip Glass The Fall of the House of Usher (1988)
Madeleine Usher - lyric soprano
Roderick Usher - tenor
William, a visitor - baritone
Physician - tenor
Servant - bass

Poe's famous horror story has fascinated poets, dramatists and composers for over a century. Poe hints at much, but states hardly anything at all. Is the story real, or is it a hallucination? What are the relationships between the narrator (William), his friend Roderick Usher, and Roderick's dying sister, Madeleine? Has she been buried alive, or is it a demon from hell who takes such spectacular revenge at the end? And is the vast house in which they live a living, malignant entity? Incest, homosexuality, murder and supernatural hang in the air, but, then again, such things may exist only in the imagination of the audience.

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