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Juan Diego Florez © Manfred Bowman

Gounod Faust

From 23 April TO 02 May 2021
Wiener Staatsoper - Wien
Program

Gounod : Faust

Cast
  • Conductor
    Bertrand de Billy
  • Director
    Frank Castorf
  • Performers
    Faust: Juan Diego Flórez
    Marguerite: Nicole Car
    Méphistophélès: Adam Palka
    Valentin: Boris Prýgl
    Siebel: Virginie Verrez
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Wiener Staatsoper - Wien Location Opernring 2 - 1010 Wien Autriche

  • Venue's Capacity: 1709

The Vienna State Opéra is much more than just a local institution; it is a vital part of the city's identity and a national landmark.

 

As of the 17th century, the Hapsburgs lavishly patronized the opéra. Family members Ferdinand III and Leopold I composed for the théâtre, while Charles VI tried his hand at conducting the orchestra, and the Empress Maria-Theresa often mingled with the corps de ballet.

 

During the 19th century, the Karntnerthor-Theater was demolished and the présent building was constructed on the famous " Ring ". It was here that Mahler, with the help of the set designer Alfred RoUer, imposed a new style of performance, based on audacious stagings and a very précise interprétation ofthe score, which demanded countless rehearsals.

 

After the fall of the Hapsburgs, Richard Strauss took over the reins of the newly baptized Vienna State Opéra. Curiously enough, only one of Strauss'operas, THE WOMAH WITHOUT A SHADOW, was premiered in Vienna. Clemens Krauss and Karl Bôhm were to follow in his footsteps. Under Bôhm's direction, the Opera created its own Company, which was to serve as a model for several générations. Even the bombs that destroyed the opéra house in 1945 could not prevent singer s such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, Sena Jurinac or Erich Kunz from becoming legendary.

 

One musn't think that the Viennese applaud only their homegrown stars. In 1955, when Maria Callas came to sing LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR in the reconstructed building with Karajan conducting, the public blocked traffic to pay tribute to the diva... in the street! Karajan succeeàed Karl Bôhm, and invited many international stars to corne sing on the Viennese stage. Works were henceforth sung in their language of origin, and coproductions with La Scala permitted the disco-very of voices such as that of Mirella Freni in LA BOHEME.

 

Ioan Holender has suceeded in deftly combining these international distributions with an ensemble System. He has scheduled many works never heard on the Viennese stage, which are now included in the Opera's répertoire, such as Verdi's JERUSALEM and Enesco's OEDIPE, furthering a policy instated under Claudio Abbado's brilliant direction. Whatever changes may now occur, the Opera will continue to stage at least 300 performances per season (an absolute world record ren-dered feasible thanks to the în-house technical crew, which hires no less than 250 people), and the public will continue to applaud the finest orchestra any amateur could wish for in the pit : the Vienna Philharmonie !

Wiener 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

Wiener Staatsoper

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