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Roberto Tagliavini

Gounod Faust

From 29 October TO 16 November 2022
Opernhaus - Zurich
Program

Gounod : Faust

Cast
  • Conductor
    Ryan McAdams
  • Director
    Jan Philipp Gloger
  • Performers
    Faust: Saimir Pirgu
    Marguerite: Anita Hartig
    Méphistophélès: Roberto Tagliavini
    Valentin: Konstantin Shushakov
    Siebel: Alexandra Kadurina

We can never say it enough, the Opernhaus in Zürich is one of the stages that are most important at international level. The human scale stage has welcomed many of today´s superstars before they established themselves as such. This is where Thomas Hampson and Matthias Goerne got their first international recognition as well as a certain Jonas Kaufmann who was a regular at the Opernhaus in his early days.

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Opernhaus - Zurich Location Falkenstrasse 1 - 8008 Zurich Suisse

  • Venue's Capacity: 1200

The Zurich Opera House is famous the world over for both opera and dance. It is among the most important European theatres and plays host to leading conductors. The original theatre built in 1833 was replaced by the present building which was opened in 1891. It was the venue for the first performance of Parsifal outside Germany.

The history of the Opernhaus has indeed been punctuated by numerous premieres: Turandot by Busoni in 1917, Lulu in 1937, Mathis der Mahler and Cardillac by Hindemith (1938 and 1952) and Moses und Aron by Schönberg in 1957. Several major conductors such as Otto Ackerman, Hans Knappertsbuch, and Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted a varied repertoire always with the greatest singers (Lisa della Casa was for instance a member of the Opernhaus company).

It was at the Studiobühne too that the young singers Gwyneth Jones and Edith Mathis perfected their craft. One of the most outstanding events of its history was the “re-staging” for the first time of the operas of Monteverdi and Mozart performed on period instruments at the instigation of the pioneer Nikolaus Harnoncourt supported by the legendary stage settings of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. These productions contributed to the renaissance of Baroque opera and the rediscovery of a vast repertoire.

Today the Opernhaus is one of the few theatres that can pride itself on presenting the greatest stars of the opera world in one and the same season. With its well-thought out and varied programming, the audience has every reason to be satisfied.

Opernhaus

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Faust

FAUST, A SYNOPSIS OF CHARLES GOUNOD'S GRAND OPERA

Setting: 16th Century, Germany

HISTORY

Faust is a five-act grand opera composed by Charles Gounod (1818-1893). The opera debuted in Paris on March 19, 2014 at the Theatre Lyrique.

However, it did not receive a good reception initially and the publisher, Antoine Choudens, took him for a tour through Italy, England, Belgium, and Germany. In 1862, he was revived in Paris and it immediately became a hit. It became the most frequently performed opera at the Paris Opera. Its popularity endured for decades leading to it being translated into at least 25 languages. However, due to the expensive nature of its full production, his popularity and critical reputation started waning around the 1950s. Interestingly, however, he is currently one of the most frequently performed operas at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Act 1

Faust's Cabinet

Faoust, who is an aging scholar, realizes that after spending decades studying, he has nothing to show for it, but instead, he has missed out on life and love. He attempts to take his life, at least twice, with poison, but he stops each time when he hears a pastoral choir. He damns science, faith and happiness and seeks Satan's guidance. Moments later, Méphistophélès, the devil, appears and he tells him of his desires for youth and love.


The devil tempts him by showing him a vision of a young beautiful maiden Marguerite. He makes a deal with the devil (a forfeiture of his soul in exchange of youthfulness and love). The devil turns the poison in an elixir of youth, which he drinks, turns into a handsome, youthful gentleman and sets out into the world.

Act 2

Townspeople, students and soldiers sing a drinking song. Valentin, who is leaving for war, asks Siébel to protect and watch over his sister, Marguerite when he is gone, which Siébel agrees and the crowd sings another song. The song is interrupted by Méphistophélès, who amuses the crowd with a song on the golden veal.

Méphistophélès maligns Marguerite, makes Valentin angry in the process and tries to hit Méphistophélès with his sword, which shatters. Méphistophélès is joined by him, Marguerite later appears and he declares his admiration, but Marguerite rejects his approach.

Act 3

The flowers collected by Siébel outside Marguerite's garden wither as prophesied, but holy water seems to restore them. Faoust and Méphistophélès enter, Siébel flees. He gets enchanted by Marguerite's environment.

Marguerite finds the jewels left by Méphistophélès and tries them and sees a different woman in the mirror reflection of her. He later seduces Marguerite and they make love.

Act 4

Marguerite, now abandoned by Faoust, is pregnant. Valentin returns from war only to find Margurite pregnant. Outside, Méphistophélès serenades Marguerite on his behalf. A fight between Valentin and him breaks out and Valentin gets fatally wounded. He curses Marguerite with his last breath. Distraught, Margurite goes to church to pray for forgiveness. She hears Méphistophélès's voice telling her that she is damned and she collapses in terror.

Act 5

Marguerite is locked and her child is dead. Assisted unwillingly by Méphistophélès, he breaks into the prison to save Marguerite. He gets overwhelmed with pity, Marguerite panics when she sees Méphistophélès and blood on his hand. With a frantic appeal to heaven, she dies. Méphistophélès curses her again, but this time angelic voices proclaim that Marguerite is saved.

THE MAIN ROLES

Faoust,Tenor
Méphistophélès,Bass-Baritone
Marguerite,Soprano
Valentin, a soldier, Marguerite's brother,Baritone
Siébel, Faust's student, Soprano
M. Cibot,Wagner, friend of Faust,Baritone
Marthe Schwerlein, Marguerite's guardian, Mezzo-Soprano

Opernhaus Zurich © Dominic Büttner

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