Opera Australia presents FAUST
Faust intends to win his heart’s desires, even if it costs him his soul. Led into temptation by the charming Méphistophélès, the ageing academic swaps moral restraint for a salacious journey through life’s earthly pleasures. But as the lives around him start to unravel, the devil, it seems, is in the detail.
Sir David McVicar’s grand production sets the opera in the composer’s own time: the decadence and debauchery of 1870s Paris. Between towering cathedral columns and the crumbling proscenium arch of the theatre, Faust’s terrible pact plays out in all of its sinister splendour.
And splendid it is. Charles Edwards’ stunning sets recreate iconic Paris landmarks, including a colourful Cabaret de l’Enfer, an opera box from the Palais Garnier and the organ loft of Notre-Dame. Brigitte Reiffenstuel’s lavish costumes are truly spectacular.
Behind all this is the resounding beauty of Gounod’s music, including the famous ‘ Soldier’s Chorus’, the rousing ‘Le veau d’or’ and Marguerite’s beautiful ‘Jewel Song’.
Faust is grand opera at its very best, with a hefty dose of theatricality and wit from a director renowned for his nuanced productions.
French maestro Guillaume Tourniaire leads an exciting cast. Saimir Pirgu sings the title role with the impossibly young Kazakh soprano, Maria Mudryak, as Marguerite. Teddy Tahu Rhodes is dazzling as Méphistophélès.
3hrs 20 mins (incl. 1 interval)
Recommended 12+ years. Please note this production contains mature themes including sex and domestic violence.