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Faustian Pack

April 2014

As David McVicar's production of Gounod's opera Faust returns to the Royal Opera House we explore the fascination of the Faust legend for artists.

We ask why this is such a powerful story in two new commissions for The Royal Opera, a very special event with author Hilary Mantel and many more elements yet to be announced.


Through His Teeth

3–11 April 2014
Luke Bedford and playwright David Harrower's new opera is a warped retelling of the Faust legend.

The Crackle

5–12 April 2014
Pioneering sound artist Matthew Herbert adapts the Faust legend for The Royal Opera in the Linbury Studio Theatre.

Insights: Faust

6 April 2014
Man Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall, Bring up the Bodies) explores the nature of the modern pact with the devil, and how we can recognize him when he visits us.

Ruth Padel

Poet and author Ruth Padel will join rehearsals and performances for the Faustian Pack series in March and April 2014 as The Royal Opera's first Writer in Residence.

Street Stories

3 May 2014

Thirty young East Londoners perform new interpretations of Faust, created by emerging artists: choreographer Hannah Anderson-Ricketts, composer Alex Groves and designer Kelli Des Jarlais.


4–25 April 2014
David McVicar’s spectacular production of Gounod’s grand opera is set in decadent 1870s Paris.

News and features

  1. 11 January 2017

    Girls being boys being girls: a short history of opera’s trouser roles

    Lovesick teens, feisty young heroes, or supernatural beings – there's an important place for women playing men (then dressing up as women again?) in opera.

  2. 12 September 2016

    8 of the greatest operatic moments in film

    From alien-blasting sci-fi to historical drama, opera has long soundtracked some of the silver screen's most memorable moments.

  3. 28 June 2016

    An undying musical influence: Goethe, the individual and a message of hope

    Why have Goethe's works influenced composers including Mozart, Beethoven and Massenet?