Philip Glass' THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER Opens Chicago Opera Season, 2/23

COT DEBUT: Ryan MacPherson (Roderick Usher) sings this season with Virginia Opera as Alfred in Die Fledermaus and returns to the Buxton Festival as Horace in Gounod's La colombe and Kornélis in Saint-Saëns' La princesse jeune. He has performed with Dayton Opera, Utah Opera, Portland Opera and Nashville Opera, among others. With New York City Opera he created the role of Iff, the Water Genie, in Wuorinen's Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

COT DEBUT: Nick Shelton (Servant) has garnered unanimous accolades for his dark, piercing voice, refined musicianship, and commanding stage presence. Recent season highlights include Jose Tripaldi in Golijov's Ainadamar with Long Beach Opera, of which raved "that is some terrific voice!" and called him "a name to remember."

COT DEBUT: Set designer Alan E. Muraoka has been working in the entertainment industry as a production designer and art director for film and television, as well as a theatrical set designer for over 25 years. He has been honored with two Emmy Award nominations and three Art Directors' Guild Award nominations. His design credits include Dirty Girl and BaadAsssss! He has collaborated with Mitisek at Long Beach Opera, designing Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice, staged in an Olympic swimming pool, and an opera adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank staged in an underground parking garage.

Costume designer Jacqueline Saint Anne is an Emmy Award-winning costume designer and former President of the Costume Designers Guild. Saint Anne returns to COT with The Fall of the House of Usher, having debuted with Owen Wingrave in 2010. This also marks Saint Anne's second production with Long Beach Opera, where she debuted with The Cunning Little Vixen in 2009. With Ken Cazan, she has designed for the Thornton Opera at USC: Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, Three Decembers, The Rape of Lucretia and Summer and Smoke, among others.

COT DEBUT: Lighting designer David Martin Jacques' collaborations with director Cazan include The Fall of the House of Usher with Long Beach Opera, West Side Story with the Vancouver Opera Company, and A Little Night Music, Gianni Schicchi, Oklahoma! and Seven Deadly Sins with Central City Opera. Jacques also serves as Professor of Theatre and Head of Stage Design at California State University Long Beach.

Mitisek's work as director, designer and conductor for site-specific productions in parking garages, swimming pools, night clubs and warehouses has become a successful hallmark of his work with Long Beach Opera, and he anticipates incorporating such innovative projects into the COT repertoire. In addition to being named "LA Tastemaker" by LA Times Magazine in 2009 and highlighted as one of "2012 People" by LA Weekly, in 2012 Mitisek was named by Opera News as one of the 25 people that will be a major force in the field of opera in the coming decade. Recent LBO credits as director, designer and conductor include Golijov's Ainadamar, Piazzolla's Maria de Buenos Aires (which will be the second production of COT's 2013 season), Lang's Difficulty of Crossing a Field, Cherubini's Medea and Glass' Akhnaten.

Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times. His operas - Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, Akhnaten and The Voyage, among many others - play throughout the world's leading houses. Glass has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as "The Hours" and Martin Scorsese's "Kundun." He was born in 1937, grew up in Baltimore, and studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and in Aspen with Darius Milhaud.

Founded in 1974 by Alan Stone, Chicago Opera Theater has carved a significant place for itself in the operatic life of Chicago and has reached an audience of hundreds of thousands through its main stage performances, community engagement, education programs in Chicago Public Schools, as well as its renowned Young Artist Program. Chicago Opera Theater presents first-class productions of operatic repertoire, ranging from the great works of the 17th, 18th and 20th centuries to intimate and innovative contemporary productions by top-tier, internationally renowned conductors, directors and designers.

Philip Glass
February 23, 24, 27, and March 1 at the Harris Theater for Music & Dance

Book by Arthur Yorinks and Philip Glass
Based on the Story by Edgar Allan Poe
Lyrics by Arthur Yorinks

Director: KEN CAZAN
Set Designer: ALAN E. MURAOKA
Lighting Designer: DAVID JACQUES

Sung in English with English supertitles.

Role Cast (Alphabetical)
Madeline Usher (Soprano) Suzan Hanson
William (Baritone) Lee Gregory
Physician (Tenor) JONATHAN MACK
Roderick Usher (Tenor) RYAN MACPHERSON
Servant (Bass-Baritone) NICHOLAS SHELTON

GOTH-PUNK MOVING MEN: Joshua Banks, Curtis Bannister, Nathan Gardner, JamAl Howard, Matt Messina, Jordan Phelps, Will Snyder.

The Fall of the House of Usher is generously supported by Orli & Bill Staley and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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