See how poor Faust (Mark Ellse) is being ensnared by these voracious women…
Last night’s rehearsal covered all of Act 1. Excellent performances from both the principals and the chorus. The scenes are now really coming together.
Here are some pictures from the Golden Calf Scene
Margerita: Chloe Seywell
Faust: Mark Ellse
Mephistopheles: Nigel Rothery
Valentine: Mike Willis
Siebel: Debra Finch
Wagner: Jeremy Craven
Marthe: Mary McCready
Margerita: Sophia Carroll
Faust: Gareth Lloyd
Mephistopheles: Gavin Magenty
Musical Director: Gavin Usher
Director: Gavin Magenty
Choreographer: Hayley Watts
Costume: Leigh-Anne Schofield
Stage Manager: Paul Sparshott
Deputy Stage Manager: (DSM) Hannah Newton
Assistant Stage Manager: (Flying) TBC – University
Lighting Design: Pete Brown
Set Design: David Smith
Went through Act 3 of Faust including Church scene and Valentine’s Death Scene – very emotional especially since I was the one dying!
Faust burns to find the secret of eternal youth. Still the mechanism of anti-aging eludes him. Enter Mephistopheles. As he tempts and teases with voluptuous visions, Faust sizzles with renewed vigour. Women and hell-raising beckon. Soul-death seems a small price to pay.
In one tantalising vision he encounters Marguerite, a young girl who embodies all of Faust’s lost innocence. He yearns to possess her.
To this end, Faust morphs into a bizarre rakish figure from his Victorian youth. Assisted by Mephistopheles’ machinations, Faust’s seductive campaign begins with jewels. Bathed in luciferic light, Marguerite is dazzled by them. She sings her delight in her famous aria ‘The Jewel Song’.
This is a production filled with contrasts: peasants sing happy songs of summer off-stage whilst Mephistopheles wreaks havoc on-stage; First World War soldiors display a touching camaraderie as they sing Gounod’s hearty drinking song. Meanwhile the frozen certainties of the previous century are beginning to move and crack. Wrongness is all around.
There’s a see-saw of musical contrasts too. The Devil’s choir does not have all the best tunes. The music that accompanies Marguerite’s redemption is Gounod at his most sublime.
There is much to resonate with modern audiences in this Gothic tale of good and evil, duels to the death, curses and redemption.
It’s also music to die for.
Avant de quitter ces lieux
Alons amis!… le veau d’or
The New Schedule can be viewed here.