The Fall of the House of Usher
Opera by Philip Glass (* 1937)
Libretto by Arthur Yorinks
Based on the eponymous short story by Edgar Allan Poe
A production by the International Opera Studio
04. November 2022
In English with German surtitles
For adults and young people from age 12
Dates and tickets
Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s eponymous story, Philip Glass’ chamber opera unfolds a panorama of decay and disruption. Young William receives a letter from Roderick Usher, an old childhood friend, asking him urgently to visit. When William reaches the country estate of Usher, he encounters an ailing and melancholy Roderick. Although William does not remember his friend having any siblings, he now finds him by the side of his twin sister Madeline, who seems equally ravaged by illness. In vain, William tries to convince Roderick to leave this place. Strange allusions, deceptive apparitions and all kinds of inconsistencies pervade William’s stay at the House of Usher. His sojourn becomes a journey into the mental depths and supernatural spheres that are typical for Edgar Allan Poe’s eerie stories.
Is Madeline real or an undead spirit, was she buried alive? Is the story really happening or is it a hallucination? Just like variations and new possibilities of William’s experienced “truth” or reality continually emerge, this change continues in the permanently changing structure of Philip Glass’ music. A net of small musical units that are interwoven with each other and spread out repetitively generates the special dramatic maelstrom, the pulsating “drive” that is inherent to the musical genre of minimal music.
Director Victoria Stevens is second-place Award Winner of the 12th EOP – European Opera-Directing Prize of Camerata Nuova e.V. (Wiesbaden) in co-operation with Opera Europa (Brussels).