The Tell Tale Heart

by Dennis Vaughan


At the 2005 Castlemaine State Festival, Melbourne Opera also presented the world premiere of Melbourne composer Dennis Vaughan’s The Telltale Heart, from the story by Edgar Allan Poe, a one-man opera starring James Egglestone, directed by Hugh Halliday, and with a handpicked orchestra conducted by the composer.

This devastatingly theatrical piece innovatively staged in a mine building was the smash hit of the Festival.


A Gothic horror for tenor voice and orchestra


’TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous. I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?’


The Tell-Tale Heart is the spine-tingling story of a crime carefully planned and executed over eight days. The fear of an old man’s vulture eye consumes our narrator. It makes his blood run cold. He cannot escape. Terror reigns as his fears grow. Will he fall victim to the madness he hopes to elude? Dennis Vaughan has created an atmospheric score dripping in harmonic dissonance. International opera director Hugh Halliday uses the unique location and architecture of the Wattle Gully Gold Mine Shed to create an unforgettable evening of suspense.


Composer: Dennis Vaughan

Libretto: Edgar Allen Poe (based on his short story of the same title)

Director: Hugh Halliday

Starring: James Eggleston (Belcanto Scholarship Winner) as The Narrator

Wattle Gully Gold Mine Shed, Chewton