This production of Faust created by David McVicar was hailed as an instant classic when it was first stage at Covent Garden in 2004, and with its lavish design by Charles Edward, gorgeous costumes by Brigitte Rieffenstuel and strong cast, this revival looks and sounds very promising indeed.
American tenor Michael Fabiano leads the cast in the title role, with Uruguayan bass-baritone Erwin Schrott as Méphistophélès. Schrott has just topped the charts as the opera singer appearing most often in 2018: a compelling stage presence with a marvellous voice, Schrott is a regular favourite at Covent Garden, and an artist to catch.
Tenor Michael Fabiano sings the title role in Gounod's Faust. Photo: Arielle Doneson
Sopranos Diana Damrau and Irina Lungu share the role of Faust's beloved Marguerite. Dan Ettinger conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Royal Opera Chorus, which gets some marvellously rousing numbers in this lavish score.
Faust was first performed in 1859, and McVicar's production conjures up Paris in the late 19th century, with extravagant set-pieces and dizzying choreography by Michael Keegan-Dolan. The production is a collaboration with the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the Opéra de Lille, and the Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste.
German soprano Diana Damrau sings Marguerite. Photo: Jürgen Frank
Faust is packed with music that is familiar outside the opera house, so tuneful that the opera once fell out of fashion. Today, its unashamedly luxurious score is enjoyed to the full once more.
Gounod's 'Faust' is sung in French with English surtitles. General booking opens 9AM, Thurs 30 Jan. The opera is relayed live to cinemas across London, Tues 30 April: click here for details and booking
|What||Faust, Royal Opera House|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
11 Apr 19 – 06 May 19, seven performances
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|