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. An orgiastic ballet suggests the revelry that continues throughout the night. 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-… Faust wants to see Marguerite, but Méphistophélès warns that she is pure and protected by heaven. The original version of Faust employed spoken dialogue, and it was in this form that the work was first performed. Mephistopheles, the devil, appears and tempts Faust with an image of a lovely young woman, Marguerite, and Faust makes a deal with the devil. Download the new iPad app to watch on your TV with Apple TV via AirPlay. 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. He curses hope and faith, and asks for infernal guidance. Download the new iPad app to watch on your TV with Apple TV via AirPlay. Charles Gounod's Faust is a three-part tragedy that takes place in 16th century Germany. He attempts to kill himself (twice) with poison but stops each time when he hears a choir. The narrative of Faust begins in Heaven. At the end she asks why Faust's hands are covered in blood, pushes him away, and falls down motionless. Marthe, Marguerite's neighbour, notices the jewellery and says it must be from an admirer. At most major opera houses, the night lasts for about three hours, usually including at least one intermission. 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. Méphistophélès is delighted to comply—for a price: Here on earth Méphistophélès will serve Faust, but “down there” the situation will be reversed. 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). Wagner urges everyone to continue their merrymaking and begins to sing a comic song about a rat, but Méphistophélès, appearing suddenly, interrupts him. 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. Faust is a grand opera in five acts. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. He swears that they will meet again. 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. It is the eighth most frequently performed opera there, with 753 performances through the 2012–2013 season. She finishes her prayer but faints when she is cursed again by Méphistophélès. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Even today Germans rarely call the work by its proper name. 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. Those who present five acts do not agree on the placement of certain scenes. After being made pregnant and seemingly abandoned by Faust, Marguerite has given birth and is a social outcast. George Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht Ballet. Indeed, the opera focuses far more upon the leading lady and how she eventually overcomes both Faust and the Devil to save herself. Méphistophélès now takes up the cup of wine offered, tastes it, and spits it out in disgust. Méphistophélès helps Faust enter the prison where Marguerite is being held for killing her child. A chorus of students, soldiers and villagers sings a drinking song ("Vin ou Bière"). The strains of a waltz bring in the students and townspeople, who begin to dance. It is said that Berlioz never intended for it to be staged. Young girls, labourers, students, soldiers, burghers, matrons, invisible demons, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 22:04. But Méphistophélès tells Valentin that he will be killed by someone Méphistophélès knows. 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. [4] 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. Siébel stands by her. 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! A brand new opera titled Faust appears to be cursed for the Palais Garnier. Méphistophélès blocks Valentin's sword, allowing Faust to make the fatal thrust. Méphistophélès, recovering, tells him that nothing is wrong and asks what he can do for him. Updates? [9][1], 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. The music was composed by Charles Gounod. 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. 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. Girls, labourers, students, soldiers, villagers, invisible demons, queens and courtesans of antiquity, celestial voices. [1], 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. Siébel asks Valentin to forgive Marguerite. Carefree voices are heard from outside: the women sing of the joys of nature and love, the men of the beautiful day that will find them reaping their fields. Valentin, a young soldier, enters, sadly contemplating a medallion that his beloved sister, Marguerite, has given him to take into battle. It was a play that stayed with me long after it finished. She currently serves on its Board of Directors and... 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