Important Message

Just to let you know that this page is no longer being updated as this event is now in the past.

See all Archive Performances

The Fall of the House of Usher

New Production

Double bill

Usher House Gordon Getty
World stage première

La Chute de la Maison Usher Debussy
Completion by Robert Orledge
British première of new version

Dare you enter the House of Usher? It’s a dark, mysterious place, seemingly with a mind of its own. In their one act operas Claude Debussy and Gordon Getty bring Edgar Allan Poe’s macabre tale to the operatic stage. 

Both operas cast a magnificently oppressive spell of menace and unease. Opera is rarely associated with the chills of the horror genre but this double bill achieves the nerve shredding effect of the best horror films.

Step inside the House of Usher but look out behind you.

Read The Falls of The Houses of Usher by Journalist and Film Critic, Kim Newman.

'What a thrill to have some new Debussy to explore and to discover the new sounds, rhythms and experiences of a brand new work by Gordon Getty.
Refreshing, challenging and exciting.'

David Adams
Leader, WNO Orchestra

Synopsis

Roderick Usher is the last surviving male member of his family, living as a recluse in the vast ancestral home with his twin sister, Madeline. She is slowly dying of a disease for which her doctor seems unable or unwilling to find a cause or a cure. Roderick begs an old friend to visit. Shortly after the friend’s arrival, Madeline dies and is buried in a vault beneath the house. In an attempt to calm the increasingly distracted Roderick, his friend reads to him from a medieval romance. As the climax of the tale is reached, the figure of Madeline appears – she had been buried alive and has clawed her way out of the vault to find her brother. Roderick is overcome by horror and as he and Madeline both confront death, the House of Usher collapses around them.

Conductor Lawrence Foster
Director David Pountney
Designer Niki Turner
Genesis Assistant Director Polly Graham
Video Designer David Haneke
Lighting Designer Tim Mitchell
Location Shoot Video Designers Assistant Assaf Zakay

Usher House cast includes
Roderick Usher Benjamin Bevan
Madeline Usher Anna Gorbachyova 
Edgar Allan Poe Jason Bridges 
Doctor Primus Kevin Short 

La Chute de la Maison Usher cast includes
Roderick Usher Robert Hayward
Lady Madeline Anna Gorbachyova
Le Médecin Mark Le Brocq
L'Ami William Dazeley

All performances start at 8pm except 15 June at 4pm

Running time approximately 2 hours 11 minutes with one interval

La Chute de la Maison Usher is sung in French with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff)

Usher House is sung in English with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff)

Usher House and La Chute de la Maison Usher are co-produced with San Francisco Opera

Read The Falls of the Houses of Usher by Journalist and Film Critic, Kim Newman.

Explore Online