Anonymous asked: Hi, since you blog about Cumberbatch, can you please tell me what he is doing in the opera "Usher House"? I mean, I love the actor but he can't sing, well not properly, anyway. I just saw him billed on the cover but don't know what part he plays. Disinclined to buy the album to find out as it is modern opera and I tend to pretty much draw the line after Sondheim.
In theory, I only blog about his hair, but with my Bennysbookclub hat on, I can tell you that its a retelling of an Edgar Allan Poe short story, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ which is being put on by the Welsh National Opera this summer.
He apparently only has a few lines, and they’re spoken, not sung. I think the review in Voix des Arts ( http://www.voix-des-arts.com/2013/07/cd-review-gordon-gettyusher-house-c.html ) sums it up best:
'The Attendant’s few lines are spoken by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, star of BBC’s smash Sherlock and the internationally-acclaimed film Warhorse, an instance of allying phenomenal talent with a paucity of material matched in the operatic discography only by the engagement of Prunella Scales for the cawing of the magpie on the Chandos recording of Rossini’s La gazza ladra. Mr. Cumberbatch’s mellifluous voice is put to imaginative use despite the small task before him, his accents chilling but unfailingly beguiling.’
So basically - small part. Captain cynical says possibly just using his name to sell CDs. He does like Poe though, he’s said that before, so that’s probably why he agreed to to it.
So if you like opera - might still be worth listening to. If not, probably not worth getting it just for Benedict’s bit.
If you want to read the short story, you can do so here:
Hope that helps!