The Fall of the House of Usher
Opera in two acts for ensemble and soloists
Music by Philip Glass.
Libretto by arthur Yorinks based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.
S, 2T, Bar, B- 1(picc).0.1.1/220.127.116.11/elec.guit./1 perc (SD, TD, BD, tam-t, tamb, cym, tgl, wdbl, maracas)/ syn/ str (18.104.22.168.1)
Commisioned by the American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, MA and the Kentucky Opera
May 18, 1988 at the American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, MA
Poe’s famous horror story has fascinated poets, dramatized 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 relationship between the narrator (William), his friend Roderick Usher, and Roderick’s dying sister, Madeline? Has she been buried alive, or is it a demon from hell who takes such a spectacular revenge at the end? And is the vast house in which they live a living malignant entity? Incest, homosexuality, murder, and the supernatural hang in the air, but then again, such things may exist only in the imagination of the audience.
Dunvagen Music Publishers