Faust

 

Charles Gounod Faust opera to libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. Directed 2016 by Reinhard von der Thannen at the Salzburger Festival. Stars Piotr Beczała (Faust), Ildar Abdrazakov (Méphistophélès), Maria Agresta (Marguerite), Alexey Markov (Valentin), Tara Erraught (Siébel), Paolo Rumetz (Wagner), and Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Marthe). Alejo Pérez conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Philharmonia Chor Vienna (Chorus Master Walter Zeh). Set design by Reinhard von der Thannen; choreography by Giorgio Madia; lighting design by Franck Evin; dramatic advisor was Birgit von der Thannen. Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. Grade: NA

David J. Baker, writing in the November 2017 Opera News at page 55 states, "Riddles and symbolic props dominate the production." (Reinhard von der Thannen is the one brought you the rats in that Bayreuth Lohengrin.) But Baker goes on to opine that the conductor and the singers "prove the viability of Gounod's score despite its overfamiliarity and somewhat mushy piety---and any directorial pranks." How's that for climbing up on the fence? Mark Pullinger in the Gramophone 2017 Awards issue at page 119 also warns that "It's a staging loaded with symbolism which isn't always immediately obvious." But fear not to tread---the EuroArts booklet has a 9-page program note explaining the director's concepts. Pullinger goes on to praise the orchestra and the singers profusely, so he must have enjoyed the disc.

Here's an official trailer: