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Faust

Charles Gounod

Dates are unavailable at the moment

OCTOBER 11, 13, 16, 18, 24, 26, AND NOVEMBER 2, 2024


Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts


Buy now as part of our 2024/25 Subscription Package!


Disenchanted by his lifelong quest for knowledge, the ageing philosopher Faust makes a pact with the devil and trades his soul for eternal youth—to disastrous consequences. 

Tenor Long Long is the scholar Faust, whose pact with Méphistophélès (bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen) promises to return him to the innocence of youth—and the love of Marguerite, performed by soprano Kseniia Proshina. Murder and madness ensue, with demons, witches, and a chorus of celestial voices rounding out this lavish spectacle directed by Amy Lane.


Credits
Sung in French with English SURTITLESTM



CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS


Conductor: Johannes Debus
Director: Amy Lane
Set and Costume Designer: Emma Ryott
Lighting Designer: Charlie Morgan Jones
Choreographer: Tim Claydon
Price Family Chorus Master: Sandra Horst

Faust: Long Long
Méphistophélès: Kyle Ketelsen
Marguerite: Kseniia Proshina
Valentin: Simon Melchlinski
Siebel: Alex Hetherington
Marthe: Megan Latham

With the COC Orchestra and Chorus

The Story

SYNOPSIS IN A MINUTE

The aged and unhappy philosopher Dr. Faust makes a pact with the devil—his soul for everlasting youth to experience love. With dreams of a wonderful life with Marguerite, Faust discovers the dangers of such a tempting offer.

 

FULL SYNOPSIS

 

ACT I


Disillusioned with life, Faust decides to poison himself. He curses God and calls on the Devil. Méphistophélès appears and offers Faust riches, power, or glory. Faust, however, only wants youth. Méphistophélès agrees to Faust’s request, but there are conditions: on Earth Faust will be master, but in Hell their roles will be reversed. When Faust hesitates, Méphistophélès conjures up a vision of Marguerite. Faust signs the contract and returns to his youth.


ACT II


Valentin and Wagner are going off to war and Valentin is concerned about leaving his sister Marguerite unprotected. Wagner starts a song to cheer everyone up, but is interrupted by Méphistophélès. Méphistophélès tells fortunes: Wagner, it seems, will be killed in his first battle. Dissatisfied with the wine on offer, Méphistophélès conjures up a better vintage to toast Marguerite. This angers Valentin and both draw their swords. Valentin strikes out and his blade shatters. Everyone is convinced they are in the presence of the Devil. Faust sees Marguerite and offers her his arm. She refuses, but he is left more entranced than before.


ACT III


Siébel gathers flowers for Marguerite outside her house. Méphistophélès and Faust have been watching, and Méphistophélès leaves a box of jewels for Marguerite. Marguerite finds the jewels and puts them on. When she looks in the mirror, she sees a different woman. Faust and Méphistophélès return, and Méphistophélès flirts with Marthe, giving Faust the opportunity to seduce Marguerite. She begins to give in. Méphistophélès conjures up a garden and makes Marthe run off before disappearing himself. Marguerite realizes she loves Faust and they make love.


ACT IV


Seduced and abandoned, Marguerite is expecting Faust’s child. She is still in love with him and prays for him and their unborn child.

The soldiers return with Valentin. Siébel tries to stop him seeing Marguerite but Valentin, suspecting the worst, pushes him aside. 

Outside her house, Méphistophélès serenades Marguerite on Faust’s behalf. Valentin and Faust fight and, with the intervention of Méphistophélès, Valentin is fatally wounded. Marguerite watches her brother die and hears him curse her with his last breath. 

Distraught, Marguerite goes to church to pray for forgiveness. When she hears the voice of Méphistophélès telling her that she is damned, she collapses in terror.


ACT V


Faust and Méphistophélès are surrounded by a group of demons. Faust is shown a vision of Marguerite: she has been imprisoned for killing her child and has gone insane. 

With Méphistophélès’s help, Faust goes to the prison in an attempt to save Marguerite. She recalls the night when he first seduced her. Faust is overwhelmed with pity. Marguerite panics at the sight of the Devil and, with a frantic appeal to heaven, she dies. Méphistophélès damns her but angelic voices proclaim she is saved.

COMPOSER BIO
Charles Gounod

Born in Paris, France on June 17, 1818;
died on October 18, 1893

Charles Gounod (1818–1893) was born in Paris and grew up in an apartment at the Palace of Versailles, where his father was the official artist to the Duc de Berry. As a student at the Paris Conservatoire, the young Gounod developed a friendship with Hector Berlioz and later distinguished himself by winning the Prix de Rome, France’s highest musical honour.

The prize allowed him to study in Rome for two years, followed by a year in Austria and Germany. Later, in Prussia, Gounod was mentored by Felix Mendelssohn, who planted in the young composer a deep reverence for the music of Bach; this would later inspire one of his most famous works, a setting of the Ave Maria.

In addition to church and concert music, Gounod composed several operas, achieving commercial success in 1859 with Faust. His opera Roméo et Juliette (1867) was equally well received and remains in the repertory to this day.

After the death of Berlioz, Gounod was widely regarded as France’s foremost composer, although a rising generation that included Bizet (who was one of Gounod’s private pupils), Fauré, Massenet, and Saint-Saëns would soon overtake him. Nevertheless, Gounod’s musical influence can be heard in later works by all of these composers, with Debussy describing his contribution to the musical canon as “essential”. Following his death in 1893, Gounod was laid to rest in a state funeral at which Fauré conducted.
  • Sung in French with English SURTITLESTM


    CAST AND CREATIVE TEAMS


    Conductor: Johannes Debus
    Director: Amy Lane
    Set and Costume Designer: Emma Ryott
    Lighting Designer: Charlie Morgan Jones
    Choreographer: Tim Claydon
    Price Family Chorus Master: Sandra Horst

    Faust: Long Long
    Méphistophélès: Kyle Ketelsen
    Marguerite: Kseniia Proshina
    Valentin: Simon Melchlinski
    Siebel: Alex Hetherington
    Marthe: Megan Latham

    With the COC Orchestra and Chorus

  • SYNOPSIS IN A MINUTE

    The aged and unhappy philosopher Dr. Faust makes a pact with the devil—his soul for everlasting youth to experience love. With dreams of a wonderful life with Marguerite, Faust discovers the dangers of such a tempting offer.

     

    FULL SYNOPSIS

     

    ACT I


    Disillusioned with life, Faust decides to poison himself. He curses God and calls on the Devil. Méphistophélès appears and offers Faust riches, power, or glory. Faust, however, only wants youth. Méphistophélès agrees to Faust’s request, but there are conditions: on Earth Faust will be master, but in Hell their roles will be reversed. When Faust hesitates, Méphistophélès conjures up a vision of Marguerite. Faust signs the contract and returns to his youth.


    ACT II


    Valentin and Wagner are going off to war and Valentin is concerned about leaving his sister Marguerite unprotected. Wagner starts a song to cheer everyone up, but is interrupted by Méphistophélès. Méphistophélès tells fortunes: Wagner, it seems, will be killed in his first battle. Dissatisfied with the wine on offer, Méphistophélès conjures up a better vintage to toast Marguerite. This angers Valentin and both draw their swords. Valentin strikes out and his blade shatters. Everyone is convinced they are in the presence of the Devil. Faust sees Marguerite and offers her his arm. She refuses, but he is left more entranced than before.


    ACT III


    Siébel gathers flowers for Marguerite outside her house. Méphistophélès and Faust have been watching, and Méphistophélès leaves a box of jewels for Marguerite. Marguerite finds the jewels and puts them on. When she looks in the mirror, she sees a different woman. Faust and Méphistophélès return, and Méphistophélès flirts with Marthe, giving Faust the opportunity to seduce Marguerite. She begins to give in. Méphistophélès conjures up a garden and makes Marthe run off before disappearing himself. Marguerite realizes she loves Faust and they make love.


    ACT IV


    Seduced and abandoned, Marguerite is expecting Faust’s child. She is still in love with him and prays for him and their unborn child.

    The soldiers return with Valentin. Siébel tries to stop him seeing Marguerite but Valentin, suspecting the worst, pushes him aside. 

    Outside her house, Méphistophélès serenades Marguerite on Faust’s behalf. Valentin and Faust fight and, with the intervention of Méphistophélès, Valentin is fatally wounded. Marguerite watches her brother die and hears him curse her with his last breath. 

    Distraught, Marguerite goes to church to pray for forgiveness. When she hears the voice of Méphistophélès telling her that she is damned, she collapses in terror.


    ACT V


    Faust and Méphistophélès are surrounded by a group of demons. Faust is shown a vision of Marguerite: she has been imprisoned for killing her child and has gone insane. 

    With Méphistophélès’s help, Faust goes to the prison in an attempt to save Marguerite. She recalls the night when he first seduced her. Faust is overwhelmed with pity. Marguerite panics at the sight of the Devil and, with a frantic appeal to heaven, she dies. Méphistophélès damns her but angelic voices proclaim she is saved.

  • Charles Gounod

    Born in Paris, France on June 17, 1818;
    died on October 18, 1893

    Charles Gounod (1818–1893) was born in Paris and grew up in an apartment at the Palace of Versailles, where his father was the official artist to the Duc de Berry. As a student at the Paris Conservatoire, the young Gounod developed a friendship with Hector Berlioz and later distinguished himself by winning the Prix de Rome, France’s highest musical honour.

    The prize allowed him to study in Rome for two years, followed by a year in Austria and Germany. Later, in Prussia, Gounod was mentored by Felix Mendelssohn, who planted in the young composer a deep reverence for the music of Bach; this would later inspire one of his most famous works, a setting of the Ave Maria.

    In addition to church and concert music, Gounod composed several operas, achieving commercial success in 1859 with Faust. His opera Roméo et Juliette (1867) was equally well received and remains in the repertory to this day.

    After the death of Berlioz, Gounod was widely regarded as France’s foremost composer, although a rising generation that included Bizet (who was one of Gounod’s private pupils), Fauré, Massenet, and Saint-Saëns would soon overtake him. Nevertheless, Gounod’s musical influence can be heard in later works by all of these composers, with Debussy describing his contribution to the musical canon as “essential”. Following his death in 1893, Gounod was laid to rest in a state funeral at which Fauré conducted.

2024/2025 season creative: BT/A

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts capacity: 2,070
Ticket prices do not include service fees, $9 CAD

Faust

Charles Gounod
To

OCTOBER 11, 13, 16, 18, 24, 26, AND NOVEMBER 2, 2024


Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts


Buy now as part of our 2024/25 Subscription Package!


Disenchanted by his lifelong quest for knowledge, the ageing philosopher Faust makes a pact with the devil and trades his soul for eternal youth—to disastrous consequences. 

Tenor Long Long is the scholar Faust, whose pact with Méphistophélès (bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen) promises to return him to the innocence of youth—and the love of Marguerite, performed by soprano Kseniia Proshina. Murder and madness ensue, with demons, witches, and a chorus of celestial voices rounding out this lavish spectacle directed by Amy Lane.

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