Temptation. The word holds great power, even in an age where organised religion holds little sway. What would you give up your soul for?
Led into temptation by the garish Méphistophélès, Faust hardly hesitates, swapping a life of dissatisfied restraint for a salacious journey through life’s earthly pleasures.
McVicar’s startling production for Covent Garden puts the opera in the composer’s own time: the decadence and debauchery of 1870s Paris. Between towering cathedral columns and the crumbling proscenium arch of the theatre, Faust’s terrible pact plays out in all of its sinister splendor.
The images are at once delightful and disturbing, a reminder that given the chance, any one of us might stumble down Faust’s road.
Behind all this is the resounding beauty of Gounod’s music, including the famous ‘Soldier’s Chorus’.
Nicole Car sings the ‘Jewel Song’ in her role debut as Marguerite, opposite Teddy Tahu Rhodes in his debut as the devilish Méphistophélès and thrilling young American tenor Michael Fabiano in the title role. After his triumph as Rigoletto in Sydney, Giorgio Caoduro sings the role of Valentin under the baton of Guillaume Tourniaire.
When an ageing academic accepts a deal from the underworld, his dreams of youth and love look set to come true. But as the lives around him start to unravel, the devil, it seems, is in the detail.
|Conductor||Guillaume Tourniaire (until 28 Feb)
|Revival Director||Bruno Ravella|
|Set Designer||Charles Edwards|
|Costume Designer||Brigitte Reiffenstuel|
|Lighting Designer||Paule Constable|
|Méphistophélès||Teddy Tahu Rhodes|
Based on the co-production by Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Opéra de Lille, and Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste and first performed at Covent Garden.
Running time: approximately 3 hours & 30 minutes, including one 20-minute interval.
Performed in French with English surtitles.