|Mephistopheles tempts Faust|
Monty Python’s Flying Circus meets Berlioz. What will happen? A gloriously busy, chaotic and evocative opera production with a charming Mephistopheles, that’s what. It wasn’t really Monty Python, but one of the members of the Flying Circus, Terry Gilliam, directing his first opera, Berlioz’s “The Damnation of Faust”. Berlioz’s opera was inspired by Goethe’s book “Faust” (Goethe twice in one week!) and first performed in 1854.
When Belioz wrote the piece he intended it as a concert performance, so when opera directors and designers get hold of it, things are known to go rather to their heads. I have seen it performed only once before, in a Robert Le Page production at The Met in New York, and the crazy video effects, acrobats, Susan Graham’s head projected over the whole of The Met’s substantial proscenium and a particularly amazing version of Faust and Meph’s crazy horse ride all remain memorable.
|Faust tries to work out what life is all about.|
|Faust and Marguerite|
Terry Gilliam has of course more to his credit than being the American member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, including films and cartoons. I think his first opera excursion can be considered a success.
And here's Susan Graham's Marguerite at the The NY Met in the Robert Le Page production.