Join KUED June 17 at 2:00 p.m. for a powerful new production of Gounod’s Faust. Three of the opera world’s leading stars—Jonas Kaufmann, Marina Poplavskaya, and René Pape—sing the principal roles in the new production, directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff in his Met debut. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts his first Met performances of the opera.
Kaufmann makes his Met role debut as the title character; Poplavskaya makes her debut as Faust’s love interest and eventual victim, Marguerite. Pape returns to one of his greatest Met roles, the wicked tempter Méphistophélès. French-Canadian mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier makes her house role debut as the student Siébel and Russell Braun debuts in the role of Marguerite’s soldier brother, Valentin.
Des McAnuff is a Tony Award winner for Big River and The Who’s Tommy and the Artistic Director of Canada’s prestigious Stratford Shakespeare Festival. His production of Faust, a co-production with the English National Opera, where it premiered last season, sets the action in the mid-20th century, with Faust as a nuclear scientist who sees the terrible effects of his life’s work and longs to return to a simpler time. The main part of the opera takes place in a flashback to an earlier part of the 20th century, with the plot unfolding in the moments before Faust dies from drinking a fatal potion.
Gounod’s opera has been a staple of the Met’s repertory since 1883, when it was the first opera ever presented at the old Metropolitan Opera House.
When this production premiered last November, Associated Press enthused: “Exceptional work by a fine cast of singing actors led by tenor Jonas Kaufmann, soprano Marina Poplavskaya and bass René Pape…their performances, sharply directed by Des McAnuff, guaranteed that Gounod’s opera came across as serious and even gripping theater. And rarely has the score sounded more captivating than in the rhapsodic account by the Met orchestra under the guidance of the young conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.”
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