Gounod's Faust

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Finale of Gounod's 'Faust' at the Metropolitan Opera (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

With Jonas Kaufmann in the title role, René Pape as the devil, and Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite, Gounod's classic retelling of the Faust legend "is worth selling one’s soul for the musical performance alone," in the words of our Operavore blogger Olivia Giovetti.

Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff updates the story to the first half of the 20th century with a production that debuted in London last season. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts on the heels of his recent Don Carlo success.

Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Production Des McAnuff

Marguerite Marina Poplavskaya
Siébel Michèle Losier
Faust Jonas Kaufmann
Valentin Russell Braun
Méphistophélès René Pape

Comments [7]

Sheila Schwartz from NYC

I live in Manhattan and have never been able to get tickets for the movies of the operas. I have tried and tried, even joined the Guild one year and that didn't help. Please advise.

Dec. 11 2011 07:38 PM
mrs Newman

I agree with unefois. I have Delosangeles/gedda/christoff and love it. Reviewers complain about christoff's "Slavic bass" in that recording. I wonder what they would have said of today's soprano...

Dec. 10 2011 06:26 PM

There is no better combination than Nicolai Gedda, Victoria de Los Angeles and Boris Christoff.

Jonas Kaufmann is a great singer, and his voice is more melancholic and pensive, so it fits BETTER than Gedda's flamboyance for this role.

Boris Christoff's menacing voice was far above other basses. I missed the sustained sinister laughter at the end of the Devil's "Mocking Song" in Act 4 today.

Marina Poplavskaya lacks the vulnerability of Marguerite throughout. The key arias (Jewels Song, and the final Anges Purs) were tentative.

Dec. 10 2011 05:32 PM
larry eisenberg from nyc

The Faust to my ear's a delight,
The modern dress is out of sight,
I prefer just to listen,
I clearly ain't missin'
A change in the era. Not right.

Dec. 10 2011 03:28 PM
Concetta Nardone from Elmont, NY

Sorry I am not able to listen to all of this. Mr. Kaufmann has a really beautiful voice. But must agree with Al from Long Island as to the stage production. The reviews I read were not too complementary.

Dec. 10 2011 03:06 PM
Anna Morris from Cape Town

Oh how wonderful it would be if we could have the subtitles from the HD transmission on a WQXR stream. Technologically it could probably be done.
Failing that how about a scene by scene synopsis, e.g Valentin prays for his sister Marguerite's safety. Marguerite tries on the jewels she finds in front of her house.

As I listen now, Faust is singing but I'm not sure where we are in the story.

Perhaps you could get a MetTitles sponsor like Baccarat, Mont Blanc, or Patek Philippe. I dream . . . . :)

Dec. 10 2011 02:04 PM
af from long island

My mobility "issues," to use the current euphemism for "problems," have been making it impossible for me to attend the Met so far this year. When I donated my subscription ticket for this Faust, I did so with a lump in my throat because I so wanted to hear this superb cast!

However, after reading the reviews and seeing the photos here of this updated Faust, I am just as happy to stay home and listen to the glorious voices on the radio!

And were I able to make it in, my partial view seat would be a blessing!!

Dec. 10 2011 01:55 PM

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