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Dominick Argento's Edgar Allan Poe Arrives in Germany

(December 2013)

Staatstheater Braunschweig hosts the premiere of a new production of the acclaimed opera by Dominick Argento

For decades, Dominick Argento has been regarded as one of the American masters of contemporary opera. Many of his staged works have taken inspiration from both transcendentalist and anti-transcendentalist authors, as well as other literary masters of the 19th and 20th centuries. Operas such as Postcard from Morocco, Miss Havisham’s Fire, and The Aspern Papers (which received raves from Dallas Opera’s recent 25th anniversary production), have become staples of opera companies with a penchant for presenting new and innovative works.

From November 2013 through March 2014, the Staatstheater Braunschweig—the venue which gave the premiere of Goethe's Faust (a theater that traces its roots back over 300 years)—presents the composer’s 1976 opera, The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe, in a new production directed by Thaddeus Strassberger. Featuring a libretto by Charles M. Nolte, The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe follows the story of the famed dark romanticist on a hallucinatory journey of self-discovery. As the titular character boards a steamer in Richmond bound for Baltimore, he comes under condemnation for wishing for his wife’s death only to realize that he is the conjurer of the very accusation. Poe’s mind races to discover his own true intentions as death—of someone—looms.

The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe
has received high praise ever since its first performances. Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 1990 production was hailed as "remarkable" by the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune notes the "considerable beauty, subtlety and imaginative variety" of the score.

The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe
was commissioned by the University of Minnesota Foundation and was premiered in April 1976 by the Minnesota Opera, a company that will also present Argento’s The Dream of Valentino in 2014.

This production runs from November 30, 2013 through March 21, 2014.

For more information about this work, click here.

For detailed program information, click here (website in German).

Full Cast:

Edgar Allan Poe: Arthur Shen, Mark Adler
Griswold: Oleksandr Pushniak
The Doctor: Wolfgang Schwaninger
Virginia: Ekaterina Kudryavtseva
Mrs. Poe: Yamina Maamar
Mrs. Clemm: Milda Tubelyte Mrs. Allen: Anne Schuldt Theatre Director: Rossen Krastev Willie: Malte Roesner
Rosy: Simone Lichtenstein

Conductor: Sebastian Beckedorf
Director: Thaddeus Strassberger
Stage Designer: Thaddeus Strassberger
Costume Designer: Madeleine Boyd
Choral Director: Georg Menskes
Dramaturgy: Christian Steinbock

Photo: Tom Berthiaume

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