by Charles Gounod
MARCH 3 – 21
Sung in French with projected English translations
Faust Opera Overview
Who doesn’t long to be young again? It happens for the aging philosopher Faust — he sells his soul to the devil and, in exchange, is transformed into a dashing young man. He falls in love with the innocent Marguerite, with disastrous consequences. Gounod’s masterpiece has been one of the world’s most popular operas for more than 150 years. You’ll know why when you hear the score, which simply bursts with memorable music. Marguerite’s Jewel Song, the Soldiers’ Chorus, the spectacular final trio — these and much more make Faust a sublime experience for young and old alike.
“Benjamin Bernheim was a revelation...flawless and pure, ranging from delicate pianissimo to heroic fortissimo as required. This was an astonishing performance.”
– Opera News
– Opera News
Approximate Running Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes with 2 intermissions
Photo: Production design by John Frame; scenic design and rendering by Vita Tzykun.
Faust Opera Resources
Join us in the theater one hour before the curtain rises for a free, 30-minute preview talk about the opera. Learn more about pre-opera talks.
The aging scholar Faust believes he has wasted his life and longs to be young again. In a deal with Mephistopheles, Faust sells his soul to the devil and in return is transformed into a handsome young man. When he falls in love with the beautiful young Marguerite, he soon finds that having all that you desire comes with a price.
Audio HighlightsCharles Gounod
Warner Classics recording — Studer, Leech, Van Dam, Hampson, cond. Rizzi. Courtesy of Warner Classics.
“Salut, demeure chaste et pure”
“O Dieu! que de bijoux!”
commentary by Nicholas Ivor Martin
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In March, Lyric presents a hauntingly original twist on a timeless tale with a brand-new production of Gounod's Faust. The creative team has imagined an alternate reality that expands and reconfigures three-dimensional collages to fill the stage. This new approach to the Faust legend will be like nothing you’ve ever seen at Lyric.
The cast members for Lyric’s new Faust have had a devilishly good time, rehearsing with passion and gusto. Hear what some of them say about their roles and the experience.
Gounod’s Faust brings us the riveting confrontation between an old scientist disillusioned with life and Méphistophélès, the messenger of the devil, who offers to make him young again – of course, at a price!
Music for Faust provided by through generous arrangement with Warner Classics, Official Education and Promotion Music Provider for Lyric Opera of Chicago.
© 2017/18 Lyric Opera Commentaries Original sound recordings of musical excerpts used by permission of Warner Music Group. All rights reserved. Recording & Production services provided by Mark Travis.
Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.
Sculpture by John Frame