Usher House Cast Change Announced

Release date: 10/30/2015

San Francisco Opera Announces Cast Update for U.S. Premiere of The Fall of the House of Usher Double Bill, Opening December 8

Jason Bridges and Joel Sorensen Join Cast of Gordon Getty's Usher House and Debussy's La Chute de la Maison Usher, Replacing Tenor Richard Croft

Usher House Cast Update.pdf   Photos Available

San Francisco Opera announces cast updates for The Fall of the House of Usher double bill which receives its United States premiere December 8–13, 2015. Tenor Jason Bridges makes his Company debut as Edgar Allan Poe in Gordon Getty’s Usher House; Bridges created the role in the 2014 world stage premiere at Welsh National Opera conducted by Lawrence Foster. Tenor Joel Sorensen joins the cast of Debussy’s La Chute de la Maison Usher in the role of Le Médecin. Bridges and Sorensen replace tenor Richard Croft, who has had to withdraw from the production for personal reasons. The new David Pountney production, a co-presentation of San Francisco Opera and Welsh National Opera, is conducted by Lawrence Foster.  

Jason Bridges has been seen in opera houses and concert halls throughout Europe and the United States. The American tenor’s notable operatic roles include the title roles in both Candide and Albert Herring, Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Pylade (Iphigénie en Tauride), Alfredo (La Traviata), Tybalt (Roméo et Juliette), Des Grieux (Manon), Nemorino (The Elixir of Love) and Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor).He has also been seen as Cyrille in the world premiere of Philippe Boesmans’ Yvonne, Princesse de Bourgogne, recorded for Cypres Records and performed at the Opéra National de Paris, Theater an der Wien and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. The list of conductors he has collaborated with includes Roberto Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Sylvain Cambreling, James Conlon and Jesús López-Cobos. His recent and upcoming engagements include Lorenzo (The Merchant of Venice) at the Bregenz Festival and in Warsaw, Baroncelli (Rienzi) at Teatro Real Madrid, and Candide with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. Bridges is an alumnus of the Atelier Lyrique young artist program of the Opéra National de Paris, where he was awarded the Prix AROP as the program’s outstanding male voice. 

American tenor Joel Sorensen made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2004 as the Mosquito in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, returning as Spoletta in Tosca, Dr. Caius in Falstaff, and creating the role of Mr. Pease in the 2013 world premiere of Dolores Claiborne. He appeared as Elder Hayes in last fall’s Susannah and created the role of Sciortino in last summer’s world premiere of Two Women. This fall he also appears with the Company as Balthasar Zorn in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, a role he performed at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2013. During his long association with New York City Opera he performed in more than two dozen productions, including Prince Igor, Falstaff, La Rondine, Il Trittico, Mefistofele, and Mathis der Maler.Other career highlights include Goro (Madama Butterfly), Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte) and Andrès, Cochenille, Pitichinaccio, and Frantz in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Metropolitan Opera; Don Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Wilhelm (The Ghosts of Versailles) at LA Opera; Mime (Das Rheingold) with Longborough Festival, UK; and Andres (Wozzeck) with the Landestheater in Salzburg.

# # #

San Francisco Opera’s The Fall of the House of Usher Double Bill   

Usher House – Gordon Getty

La Chute de la Maison Usher – Claude Debussy

December 8–13, 2015

Presented for the first time in the United States, The Fall of the House of Usher is an innovative double bill of Gordon Getty’s Usher House and Claude Debussy’s La Chute de la Maison Usher, both inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling 1839 short story. Baritone Brian Mulligan takes on the dual roles of Roderick Usher in both interpretations of the story. Tenor Jason Bridges portrays Edgar Allan Poe in Getty’s Usher House, which receives its U.S. premiere, and tenor Joel Sorensen is Le Médecin (the Doctor) in Debussy’s opera. The cast also features Jacqueline Piccolino (Lady Madeline) and Edward Nelson (L’Ami) in La Chute de la Maison Usher and Anthony Reed as Doctor Primus in Usher House.

This double bill provides two contrasting takes on “one of the most transformed pieces of literature ever created” according to director David Pountney. Pountney’s eerie production—designed by Niki Turner—provides an “aptly evocative setting for the Gothic horror writer’s dark imaginings” (The Stage, UK) and features imaginative, other-worldly video projections filmed by video production designer David Haneke at Penrhyn Castle in North Wales. Conducted by Lawrence Foster, this presentation marks the American professional premiere of Robert Orledge’s “truly seamless” (The Guardian, UK) reconstruction of Debussy’s unfinished score. The Fall of the House of Usher runs for four performances December 8–13, 2015 at the War Memorial Opera House. For tickets and more information, visit or call the San Francisco Opera Box Office at (415) 864-3330.