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Faust

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Dutch National Opera and BalletWaterlooplein 22, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Dates/times in Amsterdam time zone
Performers
Dutch National Opera
Marc MinkowskiConductor
Àlex OlléDirector
Alfons FloresSet Designer
Irina LunguSopranoMarguerite
Doris LamprechtMezzo-sopranoMarthe
Marianne CrebassaMezzo-sopranoSiébel
Michael FabianoTenorFaust
Florian SempeyBaritoneValentin
Christian HelmerBaritoneWagner
Mikhail PetrenkoBassMéphistophélès
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Ching Lien WuChoirmaster / chorus director

I The scholar Faust contemplates suicide, bitterly disappointed with the outcome of his quest for knowledge. However, he is distracted from his act by the cheerful song of passing shepherds. He curses happiness, science and faith and calls upon the Devil. Méphistophélès promptly appears, offering his services. Faust asks to be granted youth with all its accompanying pleasures. In exchange, though, he must forfeit his soul to Méphistophélès in the hereafter. The devil shows Faust a vision of the beautiful Marguerite in order to dispel his doubts. Faust signs the contract and is transformed into a noble, young man. II A fair is in full swing. The soldier Valentin is set to depart for the battlefield and comes to bid farewell to his friends Wagner and Siebel. He asks them to take care of his sister Marguerite. Méphistophélès sings a song about the Golden Calf and proposes a toast to Marguerite. Valentin views this as an insult and draws his sword, which inexplicably shatters. Méphistophélès remains behind alone. Faust asks him where Marguerite is. When she arrives, he offers her his arm but she declines his advances, to the astonishment of her friends. III Siebel is in love with Marguerite and leaves her a bouquet of roses. Méphistophélès then sets down a casket of jewels for her. Marguerite arrives back home, daydreaming about the unknown young man. She is moved to compassion by Siebel’s roses and is all the more impressed by the jewels. Her chaperone Marthe assures her that these must be a gift from an admirer. Méphistophélès keeps Marthe occupied, while Faust pays court to Marguerite. She reciprocates his feelings but asks him to leave and come back the following day. Méphistophélès advises Faust to stay and eavesdrop on Marguerite’s monologue, in which she expresses her desire for him. Faust then rejoins her and she yields to his embrace. IV After Marguerite has given birth to Faust’s child, Siebel is the only one who stands by her. Faust has vanished, to her utter sorrow. When she attempts to pray in the church Méphistophélès curses her. Valentin returns from the war and demands satisfaction for the disgrace that has been brought upon his sister. He perishes while fighting a duel with Faust, cursing Marguerite with his dying breath. V Méphistophélès takes Faust to the Harz Mountains, where celebrations are underway for Walpurgis Night. Suddenly Faust spots Marguerite amid the throng of spectral apparitions, with a blood-red band around her neck. He immediately determines to go to her. Marguerite is in prison, accused of the murder of her child. With the aid of Méphistophélès Faust comes to liberate her, but she resists him and invokes the divine protection of God and the angels. Her prayer is heard and her soul ascends to heaven. Performance in French with English and Dutch surtitles.

Dutch National Opera (De Nationale Opera)
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