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©Brinkhoff-Mögenburg / Opera Faust / Gounoud

Gounod Faust

From 12 November TO 25 November 2022
Staatsoper - Hamburg
Program

Gounod : Faust

Cast
  • Conductor
    Alexander Joel
  • Director
    Andreas Homoki
  • Performers
    Faust: Pavel Cernoch
    Marguerite: Olga Peretyatko
    Méphistophélès: Ildebrando D'Arcangelo
    Valentin: Alexey Bogdanchikov
    Siebel: Kady Evanyshyn
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Staatsoper - Hamburg Location Grosse Theaterstrasse 25 - 20354 Hamburg Allemagne

During their frequent journeys to Venice, the merchants of Hamburg had many a chance to note the success of Europe's first public opera, opened in 1637. In 1678, some of these rich bourgeois thus founded, on the Geese Market, a permanent opera. It was the first in Germany, a fact of which the Hamburgers were very proud. Driven by a strong sense of nationalism that preferred to blatently ignore French and Italian opera, as well as a shrewd business acumen, Hamburg's Opern-Theatrum specialized in defending the German lyrical repertoire, ins-pite of the clergy's prostests and heated debates that reached as far as the University of Iena. In 1738, the hall went bankrupt, ruined by the public's renewed interest in Italian opera. A new building was constructed in 1765, billing both theatre and lyrical works.

 

It was not before 1827 that the location of the actual Staatsoper became that of an opera house. At first, the German Weber, the Italian Rossini, and the Frenchman Auber shared the billing, before Wagner and Verdi (performed here as of 1845, for the first time in Germany) became the house's undisputed stars. Gustav Mahler was appointed at the Opera's head in 1891. Under his direction, the opera freshened up its rather conventional programming (and became equipped with electricity). Mahler hired the young Bruno Walter as coach, before another of his proteges, Otto Klemperer, took over the musical direction of the institution in 1910.

 

Greatly affected by the financial crisis that followed the First World War, and partially destroyed during the Second, the Opera opened in 1946 with difficulty, performing in front of 600 spectators seated around what remained of the stage. But the company, that included names such as Hans Hotter, Martha Modi, Hermann Prey, Elisabeth Grümmer, and Astrid Varnay, rapidely acquired an international reputation.

Staatsoper

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

Staatsoper

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