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Scare Pair: Usher House & The Canterville Ghost

By Gordon Getty

Overview

Ready for a spooky night out? The Broad Stage transforms into two different haunted houses in a double bill of operas by Gordon Getty. Writer Edgar Allen Poe takes the stage himself as the main character of Usher House, an unsettling chiller that has all the classic elements of Gothic horror: a high-strung recluse, a beautiful madwoman and a sinister doctor, all hidden away in a crumbling manor house full of secrets. The Canterville Ghost puts a deft comic spin on Oscar Wilde's witty tale, in which the 300-year-old ghost of an English nobleman fails to impress his newest audience, a family of Americans who simply refuse to be frightened. 

Schedule

Performances take place at The Broad Stage (1310 11th Street, Santa Monica CA 90401)

Running time: approximately two hours and 20 minutes

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Cast

Creative Team

Synopsis

Usher House
Roderick Usher is the last surviving male member of his family, living as a recluse in his vast ancestral home with his twin sister, Madeline. She is slowly dying of a disease for which her doctor seems unable or unwilling to find a cause or a cure. Roderick begs an old friend to visit. Shortly after the friend’s arrival, Madeline dies and is buried in a vault beneath the house. In an attempt to calm the increasingly distracted Roderick, his friend reads to him from a medieval romance. As the climax of the tale is reached, the figure of Madeline appears–she had been buried alive and has clawed her way out of the vault to find her brother. Roderick is overcome by horror and as he and Madeline both confront death, the House of Usher collapses around them.

The Canterville Ghost
The opera is based on Oscar Wilde’s story of the same name. Sir Simon de Canterville, a centuries-old spirit, tries desperately to scare the current residents of Canterville Chase. But his new "audience," a family of rich Americans, doesn't take his ghostly presence seriously. He is admonished by the adults and tormented by the family's rambunctious two sons. Poor Sir Simon feels like a once-great actor, whose art no longer makes an impression.. Only the young daughter, Virginia, feels sympathy for the Canterville ghost. She helps the spirit find his eternal rest in the end.

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