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OpernhausFalkenstrasse 1, Zürich, 8008, Switzerland
May 09 19:00, May 14 19:00, May 17 14:00, May 20 19:30, May 23 19:00
Zurich Opera
Ryan McAdamsConductor
Jan Philipp GlogerDirector
Ben BaurSet Designer
Karin JudCostume Designer
Anita HartigSopranoMarguerite
Saimir PirguTenorFaust
Ildebrando D'ArcangeloBaritoneMéphistophélès
Liliana NikiteanuMezzo-sopranoMarthe
Alexandra KadurinaSopranoSiébel
Konstantin ShushakovBaritoneValentin
Wojciech RasiakBassWagner
Franck EvinLighting Designer
Ramses SiglChoreography
Werner HintzeDramaturgy
Ernst RaffelsbergerChoirmaster / chorus director
Zurich Opera Chorus
Philharmonia Zürich

In the drama of Faust, the most fascinating, popular role with performers and audiences alike – contrary to expectations – is not the principal role, but the cunning, intelligent and vicious devil, Mephisto: Ildebrando d’Arcangelo, one of the most sought-after bass-baritones of our time and an extremely enthusiastic and diabolically seductive performer, is to return to Zurich Opera House for our revival production. The tenor Saimir Pirgu, most recently celebrated as Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, will be heard in the title role. Soprano Anita Hartig, member of the ensemble at the Vienna State Opera, will play Marguerite, singing the waltz-like jewel aria, for example, as in our last Faust revival. The American conductor Ryan McAdams will give his début at the rostrum of the Philharmonia Zurich. «Nothing» is the first word of Gounod’s opera. This is the conclusion that Faust draws about his life thus far: it has been uneventful and uninteresting, futile and wasted. To be young again, to indulge in pleasures once more! This is his greatest wish. At that moment, the Devil appears and promises to provide him with all this if Faust gives him his soul in exchange. The pact is signed, and Faust hurls himself into a passionate affair with Marguerite. However, when she becomes pregnant, he prefers to leave her alone. The abandoned girl kills her child and is executed. Goethe’s Gretchen tragedy served Charles Gounod as the material for a precise portrait of the society of his time – the Second Empire, with its unscrupulous hedonism – a portrait that in many aspects is astonishingly similar to our own time.

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