When to see it
Monday 7 April 2014, 7pm | Main Stage
- Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
- Marthe Schwertlein
- Royal Opera Chorus
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Weary of life and the pursuit of knowledge, the aged Faust contemplates suicide. Méphistophélès promises to satisfy all of his hedonistic demands in exchange for his soul.
News and features
6 March 2014
Some of our favourite examples of the power of the unseen singer.
5 March 2014
Bulgarian and Greek sopranos to replace Anna Netrebko in the role of Marguerite.
4 March 2014
Poet and author joins rehearsals and performances for Faustian Pack series in March and April 2014.
28 February 2014
Replacement casting for the role of Marguerite will be announced in due course.
3 February 2014
There are already at least 40 operatic adaptations of the Faust legend, so why has The Royal Opera commissioned two more?
9 January 2014
Mozart's famous anti-hero isn't opera's only irresistible charmer.
Charles-François Gounod’s Faust was once one of the most famous and most performed of all operas: at Covent Garden it was heard every season between 1863 and 1911. Jules Barbier and Michel Carré’s libretto is a tale of romance, temptation, and the age-old battle between satanic powers and religion. It is based on Carré’s play Faust et Marguerite, which in turn is based on Part I of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s dramatic poem Faust, one of the great works of European literature.
David McVicar’s lavish production, first seen in 2004, sets the action in the Paris of Gounod’s later years, on the eve of the Franco-Prussian War. Charles Edwards’s designs include a memorable Cabaret d’Enfer and an impressive reconstruction of the Church of Saint-Sulpice. They vividly convey the clash between religion and hedonistic entertainment, and provide a powerful backdrop to Gounod’s score. Faust contains much-loved musical highlights including the memorable Soldiers’ Chorus, Méphistophélès’s rowdy ‘Song of the Golden Calf’, and Marguerite’s Jewel Song with its dazzling coloratura. The opera’s final scene includes an impassioned trio between Faust, Marguerite and Méphistophélès, as Marguerite struggles to resist temptation and gain salvation.