Benedict as “visitor” in the opera adaptation of E.A. Poe’s novel “The Fall of the House of Usher ” – exceptional!
Usher House is an opera by Gordon Getty, based on Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Fall of the House of Usher. Getty was born in 1934 in the United States as son of the famous oil baron J. Paul Getty Sr. When his successful father died, Gordon took over the empire, sold Getty Oil to Texaco in 1984 for rumored $ 10 trillion and reinvested the money into various investments and wine. In addition to his business activities which sets him currently on number 239 at the famous Forbes list of The World’s Billionaires (“The billionaires of the world”), Getty is also a composer of classical pieces of music. Being an aspiring opera singer by himself in his younger days, the today 79-year-old Philanthropist regularly donates large amounts for local music programs, the Bay Area schools or at the opera house of his hometown of San Francisco through the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation (Ann is Gordon’s wife). Pentatone Classics released Getty’s works in June this year, it also can be ordered at Amazon (see “Further Information”) and is available for purchase via iTunes.In this extraordinary opera adaption Benedict Cumberbatch appears in the role of the visitor (and he will presumably not sing but narrate).
What is it about:
The novel is a short story published in 1839 in Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and again, revised in 1840 in the Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque collection.
It is the eerie history of the literal destruction of the House of Usher.
A nameless narrator receives an urgent letter from his childhood friend and visits him on his property, the mysterious, spooky house Usher.
Arriving there, he finds his friend Roderick Usher, with his nerves at a breaking point and apparently insane. Roderick, the last family member of a degenerate noble family, lives at the eerie mansion with his his twin sister, Lady Madeline. Roderick asks his visitor to join him during his serious illness and give him some company.
Shortly after Roderick’s twin seemed to be dead, her body supposedly laid out and buried in the cellar.
A few nights later, during another sleepless night, the visitor tries to divert the unnerved Roderick by reading a story of knights. And the horror takes its course. The house utters eerily terrifying noises, haunting and horrifying – and Roderick confesses he buried his twin sister alive.
Not enough with this gruesome confession of Roderick, Lady Madeline suddenly appears, covered with blood and moribund. She wants to kill Roderick before dying. Roderick collapses in shock and dies, as his twin sister in the moment.
Panicked, the narrator flees from the house – and the House of Usher breaks apart, sinks into the mud on which it stood and disappears with all its atrocious secrets..
based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher ”
Orquestra Gulbenkian, conducted by Lawrence Foster
Christian Elsner, tenor (Edgar Allan Poe)
Etienne Dupuis, baritone (Roderick Usher)
Phillip Ens, bass (Dorctor Primus)
Lisa Delan, soprano (Lady Madeline Usher)