Gordon Getty’s second opera, for which he wrote his own libretto (loosely based on Poe’s short story, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’), is a masterpiece whose music is both accessible and exciting – a tale of good, evil and redemption, with Poe himself as the narrator who lived to tell the story.
‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ is Poe’s most famous work of prose. This highly unsettling and macabre work is recognised as a masterpiece of American Gothic literature. About it, G.R. Thomson writes in the
introduction to ‘Great Short Works of Edgar Allan Poe’: “The tale has long been hailed as a masterpiece of Gothic horror; it is also a masterpiece of dramatic irony and structural symbolism.”
This opera does not mark the first time that its composer has succeeded in combining music with literature. Getty, who studied English literature at university, has characterised his compositions as follows: “Whatever it was that the great Victorian composers and poets were trying to achieve, that’s what I’m trying to achieve.”
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