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Double Tony Award winning stage director Desmond McAnuff s production, hailed by the New York Times as rich with ideas and theatrically daring , presents Faust as an atomic scientist inhabiting a dark world shot through with Cold War resonances.
Alongside Kaufmann, a typically gold-standard Met cast includes the phenomenal René Pape as Méphistophélès and the ideally-suited Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite.
Star conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin draws an elegant, darkly textured performance from the Metropolitan Opera orchestra.
Actors: Jonas Kaufmann, René Pape, Marina Poplavskaya, Orchestra & Chorus of The Metropolitan Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Language: English (DTS 5.1), English (PCM Stereo), English (Surround)
Subtitles: English, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Korean
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR Not Rated
DVD Release Date: March 25, 2014
Run Time: 100 minutes
Performances Trump Every Minor Flaw
20 people found this helpful.
on June 7, 2014
By Chris Reich
I want to start with a few statements about my own taste in opera. First, I confess to being a rather new consumer of the art having taken a few classes and listened to opera daily for a few years. I own many DVDs. My taste is in traditional staging over modernized productions. I love Wagner’s operas. I enjoy Verdi. (There seems to be Wagner/Verdi camps)
(-)Not the best ‘Faust’ production.
31 people found this helpful.
on February 24, 2014
By A. F. S. Mui
This is from the MET’s HD a couple of years back, with Jonas Kaufmann in the title role, Marina Poplavskaya as Margeurite and Rene Pape as Mephistopheles. The setting is modern, with Dr. Faustus a scientist who is tired of his ‘trade’ and wishes for an early and easy death, while the Devil comes and signs him up for a new life.
New & Different
7 people found this helpful.
on May 6, 2014
By Richard R. Hays
Great performance, strange setting
One person found this helpful.
on January 7, 2015
By tom henrichs
Great singing from all participants. My only complaint is the updating to a nuclear power plant in the 20th century. I see no reason for the director to do that! The quality of the singers does more than make up for the bizarre staging, so I do recommend this DVD.
FAUST – not worthy of Goethe’s poetry but still great lyric theater
2 people found this helpful.
on June 7, 2014
By Daniel B.
I first listened to Gounod’s FAUST when I was 15 years old on a copy with Nicolai Gedda, Victoria de los Angeles and Boris Christoff, conducted by Andre Cluytens – a dream performance, utterly charming and convincing. However, earlier that day I had an abscessed tooth pulled by a dentist – with a pliers – the novacaine wore off just after the love duet. With Mephistophiles’s laughter echoing in my ears a surge of unbelievable pain accompanied my descent into the Walpurgis Night of the devils. You don’t forget something like that. Did it taint my experience of FAUST – Y E S ! ! That memory plus a snobbish commitment to the integrity of Goethe’s original keeps me from fully surrendering to Gounod’s version. After all, there is also Berlioz’s DAMNATION OF FAUST, superior music making covering the same plot. And Schumann’s SCENES FROM FAUST, extremely faithful to Goethe. And my favorite Mahler’s setting of Faust’s redemption in the Eighth Symphony. Did I mention Liszt’s FAUST SYMPHONY? . . . That said, I really like this version. It is beautifully sung by Jonas Kaufmann and Rene Pape, who make a winning team here as in their MET PARSIFAL. And the soprano who sings the lead equals that delightful Spanish gamin of the past, Victoria de los Angeles. I also admired the setting at a nuclear weapons site with Faust as a tormented scientist who is trying to escape his guilt by indulging himself in sex and failing miserably. Now that is a meaningful, provocative updating of the libretto. However, do not think this new interpretation makes for a dour performance. All of the highlights – Faust’s arias, Marguerite’s Jewel Song, Mephistophiles’s satirical ballads, the Soldiers’ chorus, etc. are performed with aplomb and not a trace of disheartening irony. If you closed your eyes, you’d say to yourself, THIS IS JUST WHAT MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH THE OPERA WHEN I WAS FIFTEEN AND EVERYTHING WAS SO FRESH AND WONDERFUL!!
This production cannot be judged by the usual, conventional criteria. They don’t unearth enough.
2 people found this helpful.
on May 13, 2014
It seems not to be appreciated by the public, but the entire conception of this production is to present Faust as a key atomic scientist who made possible the incineration of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Without a soapbox, the production daringly seeks to impute parallels between the intellectual thrills and exitements that lured Faust to pry loose deadly atomic secrets from nature — an evil enterprise —and Faust the seducer thrilled by the allurement of exploiting Margarite’s trust and her pleas of “You must go now.” Both are proceeding under the auspices of Mephisto and the annhilation of the Good. In both cases, Faust is going where the powers of darkness are showing the way. Without these powers, the Good would be preserved. The deadly atomic secrets would stay undiscovered and Margarite would stay unviolated. The production equates the exciting pursuit of forbidden atomic knowledge with Faust’s bringing down Margarite’s defenses, both of which require invasion of forbidden realms + the resources of the powers of darkness.
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