Faust does not care; he wants to see her. Boito began consideration of an opera on the Faustian theme after completing his studies at the Milan Conservatory in 1861. Doctor Faust, an old philosopher and alchemist, is wearily poring over his books at daybreak. Méphistophélès, recovering, tells him that nothing is wrong and asks what he can do for him. Even today Germans rarely call the work by its proper name. The deal will make Faust young again, as the devil will give Faust life on earth and, in return, Faust must spend eternity with Mephistopheles in Hell. Download the new iPad app to watch on your TV with Apple TV via AirPlay. with Nick Reveles: Gounod's, Les Sept Paroles de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ sur la Croix, Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Faust_(opera)&oldid=995591592, Operas based on works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Opera world premieres at the Théâtre Lyrique, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from June 2020, Articles with International Music Score Library Project links, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz work identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Valentin, a soldier and Marguerite's brother, Marthe Schwertlein, Marguerite's guardian. Faust is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part One. David McVicar's spectacular production of Gounod's grand opera is set in decadent 1870s Paris. A brand new opera titled Faust appears to be cursed for the Palais Garnier. He later composed music for lengthy ballet scenes at the request of the Paris Opéra, which revived the work in 1869. Méphistophélès suggests that Faust ask one of the young girls to dance, but he refuses; he wants only Marguerite. At the end she asks why Faust's hands are covered in blood, pushes him away, and falls down motionless. Girls, labourers, students, soldiers, villagers, invisible demons, queens and courtesans of antiquity, celestial voices. Everyone joins in the song except Valentin, who finds Méphistophélès rather strange. The two men fight, but Faust is reluctant to hurt the brother of the woman he adores. Enjoy a free 7-day trial! Valentin rushes to her cottage. [1] With the change from spoken dialogue to sung recitatives, plus the musical and balletic additions, the opera was thus finally transformed into a work following the conventions of grand opera. In modern productions those ballets are usually omitted. Marguerite goes to the church and tries to pray there but is stopped, first by the sadistic Méphistophélès and then by a choir of devils. Faust is a tragic play in two parts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, usually known in English as Faust, Part One and Faust, Part Two.Although rarely staged in its entirety, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages. Lynch and Thomas sing May 13 and 16; Sarah Joy Miller and David Miller alternate in the roles on May 17. Young girls, labourers, students, soldiers, burghers, matrons, invisible demons, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 22:04. [1] The tenor Hector Gruyer was originally cast as Faust but was found to be inadequate during rehearsals, being eventually replaced by a principal of the Opéra-Comique, Joseph-Théodore-Désiré Barbot, shortly before the opening night. Faust, opera in five (or sometimes four) acts by French composer Charles Gounod (French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré) that premiered in Paris on March 19, 1859. A group of students, led by Wagner, indulge in a drinking song. Stuart Jeffries. Je ris de me voir si belle (Marguerite) Scene and Quartet - Seigneur Dieu, que vois-je! Méphistophélès is turned away by the shining sword of the archangel. Experience the decadence and elegance of 1870s Paris in David McVicar’s spectacular production of Charles-François Gounod’s best-loved opera. The 19th-century grand opera by Charles Gounod, which will be done in a concert version by OperaLancaster at the Winter Center tonight and Saturday, is … Instead, they give its title as Margarethe, to emphasize that Gounod’s opera in no way represents Goethe’s Faust. I just wonder how long he can go on singing like this. Faust, enraptured, hastily signs, after which Méphistophélès offers Faust the same goblet he was about to drink poison from earlier, only now it contains the elixir of youth. The bells of Easter sound and a chorus of angels sings "Christ est ressuscité!" Faust refuses his offers of gold, power, or glory; he wants youth (“À moi les plaisirs”). Marguerite enters, pondering her encounter with Faust at the city gates, and sings a melancholy ballad about the King of Thule ("Il était un roi de Thulé"). Méphistophélès is joined by Faust and the villagers in a waltz ("Ainsi que la brise légère"). Valentin and friends use the cross-shaped hilts of their swords to fend off what they now know is an infernal power (chorus: "De l'enfer"). Faust sends Méphistophélès in search of a gift for Marguerite and sings a cavatina ("Salut, demeure chaste et pure") idealizing Marguerite as a pure child of nature. Valentin, a young soldier, enters, sadly contemplating a medallion that his beloved sister, Marguerite, has given him to take into battle. [1] Others claim the opposite: that the retitling was done to emphasise Gounod's opera's reliance on Goethe's characters, and to differentiate it from Louis Spohr's Faust, which had held the stage for many years in Germany and had recently appeared (1851) in a three-act revision. Méphistophélès now takes up the cup of wine offered, tastes it, and spits it out in disgust. Valentin is relieved and commends his sister to the Lord’s protection (“Avant de quitter ces lieux”). The work draws upon Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ’s two-part play based on the German legend of a man who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for knowledge and power. Mon 2 May 2011 04.59 EDT. Méphistophélès urges Faust to sign the contract. She currently serves on its Board of Directors and... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. In his modern and expressive version of the classic opera Faust, director Yuri Alexandrov deals with the philosophical issues of being, man’s vocation, and the confrontation between heaven and hell, responding vividly and passionately to today's world … It concerns the aged philosopher Faust (Benjamin Bernheim /American debut), who – at the urging of Satan’s agent, Méphistophélès (Christian Van Horn) – is made young again in exchange for his soul.The drama encompasses Faust… The original version of Faust employed spoken dialogue, and it was in this form that the work was first performed. [5], A recording was made in 2018 of the 1859 version, by Les Talens Lyriques conducted by Christophe Rousset, which endeavoured to present the opera as first performed at the Théâtre Lyrique "closer in kinship to the traditional opéra comique in its interleaving of musical numbers with spoken passages". Faust is set in Germany in the 16th century. Méphistophélès blocks Valentin's sword, allowing Faust to make the fatal thrust. Faust sets down his phial of poison and curses happiness, learning, prayer, and faith. Marguerite declines Faust’s gallant offer to escort her home and goes on her way. Valentin is enraged. Gounod Faust, Royal Opera House. She finishes her prayer but faints when she is cursed again by Méphistophélès. Indeed, the opera focuses far more upon the leading lady and how she eventually overcomes both Faust and the Devil to save herself. [4] It was not until the period between 1965 and 1977 that the full version was performed (and then with some minor cuts), and all performances in that production included the Walpurgisnacht ballet. The work draws upon Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s two-part play based on the German legend of a man who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for knowledge and power. Siébel also wants to know his fortune. As dawn approaches, Faust sees a vision of Marguerite and calls for her. Toasting the vision of Marguerite, Faust drains the goblet and is transformed into a young man. Enjoy a free 7-day trial! He curses human happiness, faith, and science, and angrily calls upon Satan to assist him. Méphistophélès states that only a mortal hand can deliver Marguerite from her fate, and Faust offers to rescue her from the hangman, but she prefers to trust her fate to God and His angels ("Anges purs, anges radieux"). He pours some poison into a goblet, vowing that this dawn will be his last. Because Gounod's ''Faust,'' once the most inescapable of operas, dropped out of favor several decades ago, a generation has grown up not knowing it. Que de bijoux ... Ah! Taken together, they demonstrate Gounod’s command of several moods—from playful to gently lyrical to sardonically mocking to determinedly forthright—making it clear that he understood how to present good theatre. The opera is often presented with five acts, sometimes only four. Gounod's operatic treatment, Faust, which premièred on March 19, 1859, at Paris' Théâtre-Lyrique to great acclaim, is one of a number of musical treatments of the theme by French musicians; these include Louise Bertin's opera Fausto (1831) and Hector Berlioz's "dramatic legend" La Damnation de Faust (1846). Yet this traditional-looking production from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, directed by Jose Maria Condemi, with sets and costumes by Robert Perdziola, brings a museum piece to genuine new life. Faust is considered by many to be Goethe's magnum opus and the greatest work of German literature.. A fair in the marketplace of a German town. There are many versions of the story of Faust, who trades his soul with the Devil for youth and power, but Gounod’s opera remains one of the most constantly enthralling. Under the watchful eye and malevolent laughter of Méphistophélès, it is clear that Faust's seduction of Marguerite will be successful. Omissions? She sings at her window for his quick return, and Faust, listening, returns to her. Méphistophélès curses, as a voice on high sings "Sauvée!" Faust is a grand opera in five acts. But God has done nothing for Faust; he cannot get his youth back, or love, or faith. Wagner urges everyone to continue their merrymaking and begins to sing a comic song about a rat, but Méphistophélès, appearing suddenly, interrupts him. ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 2 HRS 45 MINS, 1 intermission; SUNG IN FRENCH; photo credit: / Met Opera; Berlioz’s compelling take on the Faust legend returns for the first time in a decade, with an ideal lineup of stars. Marguerite appears and Faust declares his admiration, but she refuses Faust's arm out of modesty, a quality that makes him love her even more. Mephistopheles, the devil, appears and tempts Faust with an image of a lovely young woman, Marguerite, and Faust makes a deal with the devil. The manager of the Théâtre Lyrique, Léon Carvalho cast his wife Marie Miolan-Carvalho as Marguerite and there were various changes during production, including the removal and contraction of several numbers. In 1864, when the opera was given at the same venue in English, Gounod took a theme from the prelude to the opera and wrote a new aria for the star baritone Charles Santley in the role of Valentin, 'Even bravest heart may swell' (with words by Henry Chorley). Méphistophélès, ever ready to serve, keeps his promise. (Marguerite, Faust) ACT 4; Entracte and Recit. Inspired by Goethe’s magnum-opus play, composer Charles Gounod’s opera is well known and beloved for its gorgeous French-Romantic score. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Faust-opera. It was a play that stayed with me long after it finished. Corrections? Met Opera on Demand delivers instant access to more than 500 Met performances, including Live in HD videos, classic telecasts and radio broadcasts. The first performances of Faust included spoken dialogue between musical numbers. - Elle ne sont plus là (Marguerite, Chorus) Scene - Elles se cachaient! Valentin takes the bait and comes out of the cottage, now knowing that Faust has debauched his sister. At last she comes, but when Siébel approaches her, Méphistophélès bars his way so that Faust can reach her first. The original version of Faust employed spoken dialogue, and it was in this form that the work was first performed. The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir”), Faust’s aria (“Salut! Download the new Independent Premium app. The 19th-century French opera, based on the first part of Goethe’s play, Faust, features the title character (sung by David Pomeroy), his struggle with old age, and the regret that he has never truly loved. He draws his sword, but, as he is about to attack Méphistophélès, the sword breaks in two. Realizing that they are in the presence of a fiend from hell, Valentin, Wagner, Siébel, and the other soldiers hold the cross-shaped hilts of their swords toward Méphistophélès, warning him to keep off. Puccini’s operas are a bit shorter than average, and Wagner operas are generally the long-hauls, anywhere from 3.5-5 hours long. In despair Faust follows it with his eyes; he falls to his knees and prays. Met Opera on Demand delivers instant access to more than 500 Met performances, including Live in HD videos, classic telecasts and radio broadcasts. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Originally subtitled “concert opera” and later “legend-opera”. Wagner offers Méphistophélès some wine. Marthe, Marguerite's neighbour, notices the jewellery and says it must be from an admirer. MOT’s ‘Faust’ Through May 17at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, downtown Detroit. [1], In 1869 a ballet had to be inserted (into the first scene of the final act) before the work could be played at the Opéra: it became the most frequently performed opera at that house. This number was then translated into French for subsequent productions as "Avant de quitter ces lieux" and has become one of the most familiar pieces from the opera. When he adds, “No more bouquets for Marguerite,” Valentin protests. je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir"). Faust's goblet of poison is magically transformed into an elixir of youth, making the aged doctor a handsome young gentleman; the strange companions then set out into the world. Charles Gounod's Faust is a three-part tragedy that takes place in 16th century Germany. A chorus of students, soldiers and villagers sings a drinking song ("Vin ou Bière"). He has sought in vain for the meaning of life and is tired of living. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Faust, an aging scholar, determines that his studies have come to nothing and have only caused him to miss out on life and love ("Rien! 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