The Salzburg Festival presents one of Charles Gounod's most well-loved opera: Faust, in a new production staged by Reinhard von der Thannen, conducted by Alejo Pérez and starring Piotr Beczala.
Faust is an opera in five acts by French composer Charles Gounod to a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. It is based on Goethe's play, which is itself inspired by the German legend of a man who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for knowledge and power. Gounod focuses on Faust's romantic encounter with Marguerite and the tragic result of their liaison. After being rejected by the Paris Opera, Faust debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris on 19 March 1859.
Aged philosopher Faust is depressed and calls on the Devil for help. Mephistopheles appears and grants him wealth, power and, at his request, youth, in exchange for his soul. As Faust signs the document, he is transformed into a young nobleman. With Mephistopheles' help, Faust tries to seduce Marguerite who is reserved at first. Then, Marguerite falls pregnant but is abandoned by Faust. When he tries to escape from the Devil to get back to her, Mephistopheles appears and begs Faust and Marguerite to follow him. Marguerite resists and calls for divine protection. As Faust falls to his knees to pray, Marguerite's soul rises to heaven.
Photo: © Monika Rittershaus