THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER ARTISTS
Erin Hannon as Lady Madeline
Currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Kentucky, Erin’s career highlights include performances as a Betsy Todd in Mary Todd with the Bluegrass Opera (WV), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Boston Conservatory (MA), and the title role in Suor Angelica with Tidewater Opera (VA). Additionally, Erin has appeared as a mainstage artist with Opera di Roma (ITL), Mobile Opera (MS), The Royal Irish Symphony (IRL), Virginia Musical Theater (VA), and the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C. In her spare time, Erin is a dog mom.
David Brian Clark as Roderick Usher
Three time award winner of the Charlotte Opera Guild Competition (NC) and first place winner of the Mid-Atlantic Regional NATS Competition, David’s career highlights include performances as a Marcello in La Boheme with the Boston Conservatory (MA), Giorgio Germont in La Traviata with Flagstaff in Fidenza Summer Opera Festival – performed in Teatro Magnani (ITL), and Happy in La Fanciulla del West at Opera Carolina (NC). Additionally, David has appeared as a mainstage artist with Winston-Salem Symphony (NC), Newburyport Choral Society (NC), American Singers’ Opera Project. In his spare time, David continues his studies of vocal pedagogy.
Michael Gray as Friend
Currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of South Carolina, Michael’s career highlights include performances as Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte with the Florence Sypmhony Orchestra (SC), Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Susquehanna (PA), and Don Jose in La Tragedie de Carmen with Charlottesville Opera (VA). Additionally, Michael has appeared as a mainstage artist with Opera Omaha (NE), Tidewater Opera Initiative (VA), Opera Southwest (NM), Opera at USC (SC), and Capitol Opera Richmond (VA). In his spare time, Michael is an avid outdoorsman and tiny living enthusiast.
Phil Ford and Alane Cameron Ford as Narrators
Phil Ford: Co-editor and contributing writer of Richmond Macabre : Nightmares from the River City and Richmond, and Macabre 2 : More Nightmares. Phil is also a contributor to artist Chuck Scalin’s Body of Evidence Book Art, project. A writer, columnist, and musician, his work has appeared in ThroTTle Magazine, Richmond Magazine, and Carbon 14 Magazine. Phil also DJs the Friday Clock Out and co-hosts Death Club Radio on WRIR 97.3, Richmond Independent Radio.
Alane Cameron Ford: Co-host of Death Club Radio on WRIR 97.3, a talk show that covers everything death-related from physical and mental health to poetry and music. Alane has worked in death and dying, mostly through hospice, for twenty years. Highlights of Alane’s career includes voiceover work for commercials and in collaboration with various artists. Death Club Radio records live performances six times a year at The Firehouse Theatre. Edgar A. Poe was her first crush.
Felix Jarrar as Composer and Music Director
Felix Jarrar is a composer and pianist whose list of accomplishments includes performances at diverse venues such as Symphony Space, (le) poisson rouge, Feinstein’s/54 below, the BAM! Fisher Hillman Studio, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. His works have been performed internationally by members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, and the duo Unassisted Fold.
He served as the composer, librettist, producer, casting director, musical director, and pianist on the production of his second opera The Fall of the House of Usher, which opened in 2016 at Vermont’s Marlboro College and toured off-Broadway at NYC’s The DiMenna Center for Classical Music that April to sold-out crowds. A critical and commercial success, it was praised by critics such as 2000 Pulitzer prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan, who wrote that, “It is a work of great… intensity, capturing the obliquely dark world of the Poe story from which it’s derived. Felix’s dramatic instincts are strong and richly projected through the singing and highly developed instrumental accompaniment.” The Fall of the House of Usher will be remounted this fall at The Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia by the Oratorio Society of Richmond. Jarrar presented his analysis paper Die Lorelei at the 2016 BGSU Graduate Student Conference in March 2016 as one of only a few senior undergraduate presenters. His 2017 work, Songs of the Soul Beams, a theatrical song cycle with original text by Brittany Goodwin about personal grief, premiered at BAM! in 2017. The work was praised by Broadway World as “experimental and beautifully composed”, and won Jarrar the 2017 Kaddish Millet ‘48 award from the Brooklyn College Conservatory for the recognition of a special talent in songwriting. His fourth opera, Tabula Rasa, a jazz opera about Kiki de Montparnasse with a libretto by Brittany Goodwin, debuted last year as part of New York Opera Alliance’s Operafest in a sold-out run of shows in Midtown east’s Blue Building. One of his most substantial works to date, Tabula Rasa was praised for its “lush and memorable melodies” by Operawire. Jarrar is currently the composer-in-residence for The Downtown Brooklyn Chamber Music Festival and is working on a newly-commissioned ballet based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Red Shoes” for New York Deaf Theatre. Jarrar’s fifth opera and master’s thesis composition, Mother Goose, won him the 2019 Lehman Engel Award award from Brooklyn College for a particularly outstanding dramatic musical composition that was performed at the school. It is scheduled to be premiered during the 2019-2020 season. In his spare time, he loves to read, hike, and watch reruns of Law and Order SVU.
Jarrar completed his Bachelor of Arts from Marlboro College with highest honors in composition and piano performance. He received his Master’s of Music degree from Brooklyn College with the Graduate Dean’s Award in composition on the Eleanor Kilcoyne, Cerf Music, and Chancey Memorial Scholarships while holding the prestigious graduate fellowship for assisting ConTempo, Ursula Oppens’ contemporary ensemble in the conservatory.