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The Sunday Opera: Two Looks at Edgar Allan Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher"

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Just in time for the holidays, we’ll be spending an afternoon with Edgar Allan Poe on this week’s Sunday  Opera (11/25 3:00 p.m.).  We’ll begin with two versions of Poe’s novella “The Fall of the House of Usher” from the San Francisco Opera.  This supernatural tale deals with the final days of the Usher family after the premature burial of Madeline.  The first version is Gordon Getty’s “Usher House” which will be followed by Claude Debussy’s fragments of “La Chute de la Maison Usher” which were completed by Robert Orledge.  

Appearing in both operas will be Brian Mulligan as Roderick Usher and Jacqueline Piccolino as his sister Madeline.  Also appearing will be Jason Bridges as Edgar Allan Poe, Anthony Reed as Doctor Primus, Joel Sorensen as Le Medecin, and Edward Nelson as L’Ami. Lawrence Foster conducts.  Following the operas will be a series of pieces based on poems by Poe including two versions of “The Bells” by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Darius Milhaud.  “The Raven” and “Ulalume” will be represented in works by Joseph Holbrooke, and we’ll also hear an interesting “soundtrack” entitled “The Strange and Tumultuous Life of Edgar Allan Poe” by Canadian composer Jared Robinson.