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The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe
PREMIERE4/24/1976
COMPOSERDominick Argento   
LIBRETTISTCharles Nolte   
 
Synopsis
Ill with fever and on an alcoholic binge, Poe embarks upon a hellish voyage of self-discovery when he boards a ghostly vessel bound for Baltimore. During his voyage, Poe hallucinates about his mother's death and his own wedding ceremony. Throughout these tortured images, Poe's literary agent Griswold appears in various menacing roles. Poe is accused of longing for his wife's death in order to inspire his creative thinking. He denies the charges. A trial convenes, with Griswold as judge. Driven to rage, Poe seizes a sword and lunges toward Griswold, who is merely an image in a mirror. Griswold declares that it is Poe's soul—Poe's secret self—that has judged him. Poe stabs at the image in the mirror, but Griswold has disappeared and in his place stands an image of Poe himself. With a welcoming gesture, Poe's image stretches out his arm to receive the blows. The following dawn, Poe stands alone on the dock, hearing the voice of his wife Virginia singing to him. Poe dies. The doctor arrives and discovers Griswold standing over the body. The doctor explains that Poe had wished to take a ship the previous evening. Griswold assures him that no vessel departed.
MOST PRODUCED SINCE 2000
RANKTITLEPRODUCTIONS
n/aThe Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe0
2Madama Butterfly301
3La traviata299
4Carmen286
5The Barber of Seville283
6Tosca273
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