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. The girls of the town are shocked that Marguerite has refused the attentions of such a gentleman but soon forget the incident in their enjoyment of the dance. She finishes her prayer but faints when she is cursed again by Méphistophélès. Her manner is so charming that, even though she has rebuffed him, Faust wants her all the more. Mankind is corrupt, he claims, and he revels in the evil and disaster that he is able to cause. So does Siébel, who is shyly waiting for her to arrive. He curses hope and faith, and asks for infernal guidance. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Faust-opera. 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. His musings are interrupted by the sounds of young men and women singing outside of the joys of the new day and praising God. While angels worship The Lord for his creation, Mephistopheles, the Devil, complains about the state of affairs in the world. Je ris de me voir si belle (Marguerite) Scene and Quartet - Seigneur Dieu, que vois-je! Faust is a grand opera in five acts. , Performances in Germany followed, with Dresden Semperoper in 1861 being the first to bill the work as Margarethe rather than Faust. Faust enters and asks Méphistophélès what is wrong. 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"). Valentin, a young soldier, enters, sadly contemplating a medallion that his beloved sister, Marguerite, has given him to take into battle. When Faust hesitates, Méphistophélès shows him a vision of the beautiful Marguerite at her spinning wheel. Siébel eagerly promises to look after her. The Phantom has forbidden that it ever be sung, even if Christine herself is cast as Marguerite. When he adds, “No more bouquets for Marguerite,” Valentin protests. 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. While he is inside Faust and Méphistophélès appear, and Méphistophélès, knowing that Marguerite is not in there alone, sings a mocking burlesque of a lover's serenade under Marguerite's window ("Vous qui faites l'endormie"). Méphistophélès, ever ready to serve, keeps his promise. The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. Méphistophélès is joined by Faust and the villagers in a waltz ("Ainsi que la brise légère"). 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-… For the San Francisco Opera to stage Charles Gounod’s Faust now, 10 years into the 21st century, shows an odd kind of daring. It's loosely based on the three-part tragedy, Faust by Goethe and premiered on March 19, 1859, at the Theatre Lyrique in Paris, France. Mefistofele is one of many pieces of classical music based on the Faust legend and, like many other composers, Boito used Goethe's version as his starting point. Faust was Gounod’s first great success, the work that established his international reputation. ('"Christ is risen!"). How To Pronounce Faust (1960 film) How To Pronounce Faust (1994 film) How To Pronounce Faust (2011 film) How To Pronounce Faust (album) How To Pronounce Faust (Avatar Press) How To Pronounce Faust (ballet) How To Pronounce Faust (band) How To Pronounce Faust (comics) How To Pronounce Faust (disambiguation) How To Pronounce Faust (EWTC show) He urges the delighted crowd to drink their fill—to Marguerite. 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. It is she, not Faust, who, in the opera’s final scene, is taken in by the angels. Siébel stands by her. Siébel asks Valentin to forgive Marguerite. The earliest forms of the … They sing a love duet ("Oui, c'est toi que j'aime"). Méphistophélès maligns Marguerite, and Valentin tries to strike him with his sword, which shatters in the air. Toasting the vision of Marguerite, Faust drains the goblet and is transformed into a young man. En vain j'interroge"). At the end she asks why Faust's hands are covered in blood, pushes him away, and falls down motionless. Valentin is enraged. The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Gounod’s “Faust” on Tuesday night updated the story to take place in an atomic bomb laboratory between the world wars. 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! Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. The Harz mountains on Walpurgis Night / A cavern / The interior of a prison, Méphistophélès and Faust are surrounded by witches ("Un, deux et trois"). The recording, produced by Bru Zane, featured Véronique Gens, Benjamin Bernheim and Andrew Foster-Williams in principal roles.. Updates? Méphistophélès urges Faust to go with him to see Marguerite in person, and both celebrate the joys of passion. Méphistophélès blocks Valentin's sword, allowing Faust to make the fatal thrust. Originally subtitled “concert opera” and later “legend-opera”. Valentin's company returns from the war to a military march ("Déposons les armes" and "Gloire immortelle de nos aïeux", the well-known "soldiers' chorus"). (Marguerite, Martha, Mephistopheles, Faust) Duet - Il se fait tard, adieu! By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. La Damnation de Faust was subsequently dubbed by Berlioz a “dramatic legend in four parts”.This indecision reflects the unclassifiable and protean nature of a work that is a succession of independent tableaus each belonging to a different genre.Fascinated by Goethe’s Faust, which he discovered in the … Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. , The opera was given for the first time in Italy at La Scala in 1862 and in England at Her Majesty's Theatre, London (in Italian) in 1863. 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… It is said that Berlioz never intended for it to be staged. Méphistophélès tells him that every flower he touches will wither. He has sought in vain for the meaning of life and is tired of living. 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. Méphistophélès brings in a decorated box containing exquisite jewelry and a hand mirror and leaves it on Marguerite's doorstep, next to Siébel's flowers. Those who present five acts do not agree on the placement of certain scenes. 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. The manager of the Théâtre Lyrique, Léon Carvalho cast his wife Marie Miolan-Carvalhoas Marguerite and there were various changes during production, including the removal and contraction of several numbers. Wagner urges everyone to continue their merrymaking and begins to sing a comic song about a rat, but Méphistophélès, appearing suddenly, interrupts him. 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. Valentin takes the bait and comes out of the cottage, now knowing that Faust has debauched his sister. In its 30th, jubilee, season, the St. Petersburg Chamber Opera turned its attention to the works of Charles Gounod for the first time.  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. Que de bijoux ... Ah! demeure chaste et pure”), Méphistophélès’s aria (“Le veau d’or est toujours debout”), the leading lady’s brother’s farewell to her as he heads off to war (“Avant de quitter ces lieux”), and the famed Soldiers’ Chorus. Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings Valentin's aria from act II of Gounod's opera Faust.  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. Under the watchful eye and malevolent laughter of Méphistophélès, it is clear that Faust's seduction of Marguerite will be successful. Méphistophélès curses, as a voice on high sings "Sauvée!" Orlin Anastassov as Mephistopheles in a 2006 production of Gounod's Faust at the Royal Opera House, London Photograph: Alastair Muir / Rex Features. It debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris on 19 March 1859, with influential sets designed by Charles-Antoine Cambon and Joseph Thierry, Jean Émile Daran, Édouard Desplechin, and Philippe Chaperon. Indeed, the opera focuses far more upon the leading lady and how she eventually overcomes both Faust and the Devil to save herself. je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir"). Faust is a grand opera in five acts.The music was composed by Charles Gounod.The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. Faust is set in Germany in the 16th century. Movie starring Julian Sands, 1998 After Carlotta mysteriously falls ill, Christine is sent to sing the role of Marguerite in Faust. 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. 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. He accepts and meanwhile reads Wagner’s palm, telling him that if he goes to war, he will be killed. Puccini’s operas are a bit shorter than average, and Wagner operas are generally the long-hauls, anywhere from 3.5-5 hours long. To his astonishment and terror, Méphistophélès appears, dressed as a dashing nobleman and ready to grant his every wish. It was a play that stayed with me long after it finished. Mon 2 May 2011 04.59 EDT. The Washington National Opera's Faust runs approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes with 2 intermissions and is playing at the Kennedy Center's Opera House through March 30. Méphistophélès urges Faust to sign the contract. The Lord agrees, claiming that Faust will remain a loyal follower. Some operas are very long and some are very short - the shortest we know of, L'Enlèvement d'Europe, is a mere 8 minutes!Our list currently has about 120 or so operas - a good deal of the standard repertory plus a collection of assorted rarities. 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). (This is often considered the beginning of Act II.). Demeure chaste et pure (Faust) Aria - Ah! Faust does not care; he wants to see her. The Metropolitan Opera La Damnation de Faust. Ah! Marguerite tries on the jewels and is captivated by how they enhance her beauty, as she sings in the famous aria, the Jewel Song ("Oh dieu! He draws his sword, but, as he is about to attack Méphistophélès, the sword breaks in two. Gounod’s opera does not attempt to match the thematic breadth or the philosophical sophistication of Goethe’s sprawling masterpiece, concentrating instead on Faust’s romantic encounter with Marguerite (Gretchen in Goethe’s drama) and the tragic results of their liaison. Girls, labourers, students, soldiers, villagers, invisible demons, queens and courtesans of antiquity, celestial voices. A brand new opera titled Faust appears to be cursed for the Palais Garnier. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Mephistopheles, the devil, appears and tempts Faust with an image of a lovely young woman, Marguerite, and Faust makes a deal with the devil. Stuart Jeffries. MOT’s ‘Faust’ Through May 17at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, downtown Detroit. je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir”), Faust’s aria (“Salut! In despair Faust follows it with his eyes; he falls to his knees and prays. As dawn approaches, Faust sees a vision of Marguerite and calls for her. The lovesick boy Siébel leaves a bouquet for Marguerite ("Faites-lui mes aveux"). He attempts to kill himself (twice) with poison but stops each time when he hears a choir. I just wonder how long he can go on singing like this. Méphistophélès is turned away by the shining sword of the archangel. Marthe, Marguerite's neighbour, notices the jewellery and says it must be from an admirer. He tells Méphistophélès of this setback, and Méphistophélès promises his help. George Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht Ballet. 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). Charles Gounod's Faust is a three-part tragedy that takes place in 16th century Germany. , After a successful initial run at the Théâtre Lyrique the publisher Antoine Choudens, who purchased the copyright for 10,000 francs, took the work (now with recitatives replacing the spoken dialogue) on tour through Germany, Belgium, Italy and England, with Marie Miolan-Carvalho repeating her role. But Wagner gives way to the stranger, and Méphistophélès sings of the golden calf that all people worship as Satan leads the dance (“Le veau d’or est toujours debout”). 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. Omissions? Méphistophélès is delighted to comply—for a price: Here on earth Méphistophélès will serve Faust, but “down there” the situation will be reversed. The opera is often presented with five acts, sometimes only four. Corrections? 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. 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. 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. Download the new iPad app to watch on your TV with Apple TV via AirPlay. A group of students, led by Wagner, indulge in a drinking song. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Download the new Independent Premium app. A chorus of students, soldiers and villagers sings a drinking song ("Vin ou Bière"). Méphistophélès and Faust join the women in the garden and romance them. She currently serves on its Board of Directors and... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. At last she comes, but when Siébel approaches her, Méphistophélès bars his way so that Faust can reach her first. Valentin, leaving for war with his friend Wagner, entrusts the care of his sister Marguerite to his youthful friend Siébel ("O sainte médaille ... Avant de quitter ces lieux"). The libretto was based on Carré's play Faust et Marguerite.Carre's play was, in turn, based on the first past of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust.The opera was first performed at the Théâtre-Lyrique in Paris on 19 March 1859. The original version of Faust employed spoken dialogue, and it was in this form that the work was first performed. Lynch and Thomas sing May 13 and 16; Sarah Joy Miller and David Miller alternate in the roles on May 17. It also earned him the lasting wrath of the Germans, who were enraged by the way in which Gounod had altered what they saw as their national masterpiece. Marguerite allows Faust to kiss her ("Laisse-moi, laisse-moi contempler ton visage"), but then asks him to go away. (Marguerite, Faust) ACT 4; Entracte and Recit. D avid McVicar's staging of Faust has always attracted big-name casts, ... which makes him more effective as the tormentor of the final scenes than the insidious charmer of the opera's opening. The two men fight, but Faust is reluctant to hurt the brother of the woman he adores. , Although the Walpurgisnacht ballet sequence from act 5 is often omitted from staged opera performances, it is frequently performed separately as part of a ballet program, e.g. As opera plots go, "Faust" is a doozy. Everyone joins in the song except Valentin, who finds Méphistophélès rather strange. 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. 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. The strains of a waltz bring in the students and townspeople, who begin to dance. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). With this protection, they all exit, leaving the shaken Méphistophélès alone.  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. He offers the company something from his own “cellar,” and, calling upon Bacchus, he strikes a barrel, decorated with a figure of Bacchus, which suddenly pours forth wine. The following year Gounod reworked it with sung recitative. , It was Faust with which the Metropolitan Opera in New York City opened for the first time on 22 October 1883. 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. Doctor Faust, an old philosopher and alchemist, is wearily poring over his books at daybreak. With James Unsworth, Stéphane Degout, Michael Fabiano, Erwin Schrott. It is the eighth most frequently performed opera there, with 753 performances through the 2012–2013 season. The bells of Easter sound and a chorus of angels sings "Christ est ressuscité!" Enjoy a free 7-day trial! Méphistophélès suggests that Faust ask one of the young girls to dance, but he refuses; he wants only Marguerite. Enjoy a free 7-day trial! Even today Germans rarely call the work by its proper name. Faust is transported to a cave of queens and courtesans, and Méphistophélès promises to provide Faust with the love of the greatest and most beautiful women in history. Mephistopheles makes a bet with The Lord that he will be able to turn one of his servants, Dr. Faust, over to sin and evil. The music was composed by Charles Gounod. The narrative of Faust begins in Heaven. Instead, they give its title as Margarethe, to emphasize that Gounod’s opera in no way represents Goethe’s Faust. 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. , 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. Valentin is relieved and commends his sister to the Lord’s protection (“Avant de quitter ces lieux”). 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"). For the opera by Louis Spohr, see, Marguerite's garden in the original production, set design by, The description given here follows the order of the scenes as performed in the original production at the Théâtre Lyrique (, Synopsis (in German, English, French, Italian), libretto (in German, English, French), International Music Score Library Project, "Mon coeur est penetre d'epouvante" (My heart is overcome with terror), San Diego OperaTalk! 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. 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. Valentin, Marguerite’s brother, a soldier (, Siébel, a student of Faust, in love with Marguerite (, Marthe Schwerlein, Marguerite’s neighbour (mezzo-soprano). 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 … An orgiastic ballet suggests the revelry that continues throughout the night. The most famous selections in Gounod’s Faust are the leading lady’s two arias the King of Thule (“Il était un roi de Thulé”) and the Jewel Song (“Ah! - Elle ne sont plus là (Marguerite, Chorus) Scene - Elles se cachaient! Act 1 Met Opera on Demand delivers instant access to more than 500 Met performances, including Live in HD videos, classic telecasts and radio broadcasts. Inspired by Goethe’s magnum-opus play, composer Charles Gounod’s opera is well known and beloved for its gorgeous French-Romantic score. Méphistophélès appears (duet: "Me voici") and, with a tempting image of Marguerite at her spinning wheel, persuades Faust to buy Méphistophélès's services on Earth in exchange for Faust's in Hell. He was an admirer of Richard Wagner and, like him, chose to write his own libretto, something … He pours some poison into a goblet, vowing that this dawn will be his last. But Méphistophélès tells Valentin that he will be killed by someone Méphistophélès knows. Méphistophélès, recovering, tells him that nothing is wrong and asks what he can do for him. In modern productions those ballets are usually omitted. Download the new iPad app to watch on your TV with Apple TV via AirPlay. Faust sets down his phial of poison and curses happiness, learning, prayer, and faith. 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