USHER

14.02.2019 - 10.03.2019

The unfinished opera USHER by Claude Debussy has now been completed by Belgian composer Annelies van Parys. It was commissioned by Folkoperan and Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin, where it premiered on October 12th. The production will open at Folkoperan with a Swedish cast on February 14th, 2019. For the libretto she worked together with the Belgian writer Gaea Schoeters who made a clever reworking on the existing material and completed the rest of the story, focussing more on the political aspect of fear as a tool to control people.

USHER staged by Philippe Quesne, takes us to a dilapidated house reminiscent of many high profile horror films from the 1980’s. We are invited to an orchestrated chamber piece in a house over which a curse has been cast. It is home to sister and brother Madeline and Roderick, the last surviving members of the former powerful Usher family, completely isolated from the surrounding area. Paralysed by an inexplicable fear, they fight for their survival. The question is what does this fear and terror consist of, and who gains from the fear of never leaving the House of Usher? 

– Folkoperan is absolutely thrilled to present this new work by Annelies van Parys and Claude Debussy to Swedish audiences. With its world of shimmering, colourful and transparent notes, van Parys is a contemporary heir to Debussy while at the same time contributing with her own clear voice, says Marit Strindlund.

On stage at Folkoperan are Rickard Söderberg as the Doctor, Ola Eliasson as Roderick Usher, Alexandra Büchel as Madeline Usher and Olle Persson as the Friend. The production is directed by Philippe Quesne, artistic director at Nanterre-Amandiers Centre Dramatique Nationale. Musical direction is by Marit Strindlund, musical director/principal conductor at Folkoperan.

“… a thrilling new opera… 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