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Faust (Margarethe)

Charles Gounod

Performance 03/05/2017  |  Opera in five acts | Text by Jules Paul Barbier and Michel Florentin Carré,

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A common wish, one that’s nearly impossible to resist: Turn back the hands of time, and enjoy the fruits of eternal youth! But in this case, the results are deadly. Spurred on by doubt and life’s tedium, Faust promises his soul to the devil in return for one more chance to feel love’s sweet caress. But in addition to his age, Faust loses his maturity and his sense of responsibility. His love for Margarethe becomes a blind adventure. Margarethe, the original, eponymous figure in Gounod’s opera, becomes little more than a plaything in this reckless game.

Charles Gounod reduced Goethe’s Faust tale into the so-called Gretchen Tragedy. At the same time, he glories in the operatic grandness of the story. His Faust opera focuses primarily on the enigmatic figure of Mephisto, the conjurer, seducer of the masses and merciless master of war, death and mischief.

Just in time for the city’s anniversary, the Oper Leipzig production of Charles Gounod’s opera Faust presents a story that is associated like no other with the city of Leipzig: Goethe studied here, and one of the central scenes of the tale – the students’ scene, set in Auerbach’s Cellar – was inspired by his time here. Michiel Dijkema, who most recently staged Puccini’s Tosca at the Oper Leipzig, returns, bringing his unique perspective and ability to surprise audiences while staying true to the story.

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