House composer Annelies Van Parys and author Gaea Schoeters 'complete' an unfinished opera by Debussy based on a horror story of Edgar Allen Poe.

Claude Debussy never finished his opera La chute. Composer Annelies Van Parys now ‘completes’ it as a dialogue between his musical language and her own. Debussy’s complex vocal style makes it quite a challenge. Debussy focussed his reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s horror story Fall of the House of Usher on the way in which paranoia drives people mad. Writer Gaea Schoeters adapts the unfinished libretto to a contemporary context: fear as a perfect tool for social control.

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A coproduction of Muziektheater Transparant with Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Folkoperan Stockholm, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and Nanterre-Amandiers centre dramatique national. 

Location Dates Hour
Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (Antwerpen)
+32 70 22 02 02
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Composition: Annelies Van Parys • Claude Debussy • Libretto: Gaea Schoeters • Claude Debussy • Edgar Allen Poe • Stage Director: Philippe Quesne • Conductor: Marit Strindlund • Dramaturgy: Roman Reeger • Roderick Usher: Ola Eliasson • Lady Madeline: Alexandra Büchel • L'Ami: Vincenzo Neri • Le Médecin: Daniel Arnaldos • Orchestra: Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

… a thrilling new opera built from Debussy’s fragments … There’s a touch of Hitchcock and a lot of David Lynch in the visual aesthetic … Marit Strindlund conducts with a combination of coherence, order and sensuality that matches the score perfectly …

Financial Times - oktober 2018

In this production everything is just right: the vocals, the claustrophobic orchestral sound, the somber scenography and the special effects, for example the many clouds of smoke and lightning flashes, which announce the demise of the house. The story is fascinating, so you have to be careful not to lose your mind. This empathy is desirable. Because Gaea Schoeters, who has edited and expanded the libretto, shows Usher's unfounded panic as a thoroughly modern phenomenon.

Der Tagesspiegel - 15 oktober 2018