The Fall of the House of Usher

Philip Glass

Year

1988


Duration

90'


Instrumentation

soprano, tenor (2), baritone, bass - 1(=picc).0.1.1 - 1.0.0.0 - perc-egtr-synth - 2.1.1.1.1


Genre

Stage Work with Guitar


Text/Libretto

Edgar Allen Poe


Commission

American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, MA and the Kentucky Opera


Premiere

Cambridge (MA), U.S.A., American Repertory Theater, 18 May 1988: American Repertory Theater / Kentucky Opera


Publisher

Chester Music and to Novello & Co. Ltd.


Comment

"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." - Philip Glass (from: Chester Novello website)


Source

composer homepage; Chester/Novello website; correspondence with the publisher;