Faust

Charles Gounod

18, 23, 25 June 2020 · 8:00 pm
20, 27 June 2020 · 7:00 pm
Sala Principal
Opéra in five acts
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
based on Faust (part 1) by Johann W. von Goethe

Conductor
Michel Plasson

Stage Director
Keith Warner

Set Designer
Es Devlin

Costume Designer
Julia Müer

Lighting Designer
Wolfgang Göbble

Production
Semperoper Dresden

El doctor Faust
John Osborn

Méphistophélès
Alex Esposito

Marguerite
Ailyn Pérez

Siébel
Paula Murrihy

 

Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana
Francesc Perales,
chorus master

Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana

Immersed in his studies, old Doctor Faust despairs to see that his search for a solution to the enigmas of life has been in vain. Twice he raises a glass of poison to his lips but stops when the sound of boys and girls singing reaches him through his window and awakens in him the unsatisfied desires and passions of his youth. Cursing life and human passions, the philosopher turns to Satan for help. The devil appears and Faust reveals his wish to be young and his desire for pleasure: Méphistophélès replies that all his wishes can come true in exchange for his soul. Faust hesitates until the devil shows him a vision of the beautiful young Marguerite. A magic potion transforms Faust into a handsome young man and he leaves with Méphistophélès in search of Marguerite.

Soldiers and inhabitants of the city have gathered at the fair. A young officer, Valentin, who wears a medallion belonging to his sister Marguerite, asks his young friend Siébel to protect the girl while he is away and they have an emotional farewell. Wagner, a student, starts the merrymaking with a lively song, but is interrupted by Méphistophélès, who sings a hymn praising greed and gold. The devil refuses the drink Wagner offers him and surprises the crowd by making wine pour from an old dry barrel. When he raises his glass to Marguerite, Valentin draws his sword, but it breaks into pieces. The other soldiers recognise Satan and form crosses with their swords in front of Méphistophélès, who cowers on seeing them. While the townsfolk dance a waltz, Faust talks to Marguerite. She demurely refuses to let him escort her home. Méphistophélès returns to guide the merrymakers in their dancing.

Siébel briefly enters Marguerite’s garden to leave a bouquet of flowers for her. The young lover is followed by Faust and Méphistophélès, the latter goes looking for a gift that is better than Siébel’s gift. When alone, Faust calls on Marguerite’s door. The devil returns with a box full of jewels, which he leaves next to Siébel’s bouquet. Marguerite arrives and sits at her spinning wheel, singing a ballad about the king of Thulé, interrupting each verse with her thoughts about the young man she has met. On seeing the flowers and jewellery box, the girl is overjoyed and tries on the jewels. Méphistophélès distracts an old meddlesome woman, Marthe, wooing her so that Faust can win Marguerite’s heart. The devil conjures up a starlit night and Marguerite declares her love, but she begs Faust to leave. The devil makes fun of Faust’s fiasco and points to Marguerite, who has appeared at the window expressing her love for Faust. He joins her in an embrace. She gives in and the mocking laughter of Méphistophélès echoes around the garden.

Marguerite seeks refuge in the church, fleeing from Méphistophélès who pursues her cursing her and tormenting her. She faints.

In the square, Valentin and his fellow soldiers have returned from the war and they sing songs of glory for those who have fallen in battle. The soldier asks after Marguerite, but Siébel only dodges his questions. Unsettled, he enters the house. Faust, sorry for having abandoned Marguerite, arrives with Méphistophélès, who sings a lecherous ballad to the girl. Valentin, ready to defend his sister’s honour, fights a duel with Faust. At a crucial moment, Méphistophélès intervenes and Faust kills Valentin without meaning to. The devil takes Faust away and Marguerite kneels beside her brother who is fatally wounded. He curses her before he takes his last breath. She slowly gets up and, laughing madly, mingles with the crowd.

Marguerite is asleep. She is in prison, condemned for killing her illegitimate child. Faust and Méphistophélès enter to take her away. The devil stands guard and Faust wakes Marguerite. At first the girl is pleased to see her lover, but instead of running away with him, she begins to recall the happy times they had together. When Méphistophélès appears asking them to hurry, Marguerite asks the angels for salvation and walks towards the gallows. Méphistophélès condemns her, but as she approaches the executioner a choir of angels proclaim her salvation.

Preestrena fins a 28

Ramon Gener Lecture

Perspectives

15 June 2020, Sala Principal

11 June 2020, Auditori

16 June 2020, Aula Magistral