The Fall of the House of Usher

Edgar Allan Poe's Gothic tale about a decaying castle inhabited by a tormented man and his sickly sister comes to life—twice!

Usher House Music and Libretto by Gordon Getty
By arrangement with Rork Music, publisher and copyright owner

La Chute de la Maison Usher Music and Libretto by Claude Debussy
Reconstruction and Orchestration by Robert Orledge

Usher House sung in English with English supertitles
La Chute de la Maison Usher sung in French with English supertitles


A decaying castle inhabited by a tormented man and his sickly twin sister comes to haunting life.

Read Complete Synopsis ›


Director David Pountney gave the piece a certain dark splendor, and the small cast, sensitively led by conductor Lawrence Foster, lent the score musical vigor.

San Francisco Chronicle

Director David Pountney neatly stitches together the two distinct takes on the macabre tale, employing Niki Turner’s effective stage production and designer David Haneke’s captivating video projections.

San Francisco Examiner

Baritone Brian Mulligan, who did double duty as Roderick Usher in both halves of the evening, gave a fluid, nuanced performance.

San Francisco Chronicle

Tenor Jason Bridges makes his Company debut as Edgar Allan Poe, looking every bit the part of the great author, and resonating nicely with self-assurance and a bright voice.

San Francisco Examiner

View More

Behind the Scenes

Related articles from the Opera Blog

Hitting it out of the Park: The Marriage of Figaro at the Ballpark

Cast & Creative

Roderick Usher Brian Mulligan
Edgar Allan Poe Jason Bridges
Madeline Usher / Lady Madeline Jacqueline Piccolino
Madeline Usher (dancer) Jamielyn Duggan *
Doctor Primus Anthony Reed
Le Médecin Joel Sorensen
L'Ami Edward Nelson


December 8, 10, 11, 13

Composer/Librettist ("Usher House") Gordon Getty
Completion of "La Chute de la Maison Usher" Robert Orledge
Conductor Lawrence Foster
Director David Pountney
Associate Director Polly Graham *
Production Designer Niki Turner*
Video Production Designer David Haneke*
Lighting Designer Tim Mitchell*
Lighting Supervisor Benjamin Naylor*
Choreographer ("Usher House") Jo Jeffries*

 * San Francisco Opera Debut

Co-production with Welsh National Opera

U.S. Premiere of Double Bill

Program Articles

"I could not bring my passions from a common spring"

Author Jane Ganahl explores the dark genius of Edgar Allan Poe.

Q&A with "Usher House" composer Gordon Getty

San Francisco Opera dramaturg Kip Cranna interviews the San Francisco-based composer about his setting of Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher."

Completing Debussy

In-depth detective work gave British scholar Robert Orledge confidence to finish Debussy's La Chute de la Maison Usher.

Made Possible By

This production is made possible by Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.