Faust: The Opera – Opens March 19, 1859


Faust is a grand opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré’s play Faust et Marguerite, (loosely) based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust, Part 1. It debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris on this day of  March 19,  1859.


Faust, is a scholar who feels his life work – invaluable rubbish – has stolen away the best of his years, robbing him of a life of love. He attempts suicide twice with poison; a choir interrupts both attempts. Faust denounces Science and faith and asks  for infernal guidance. Upon doing so, Méphistophélès (a demon) appears with a seductive image of Marguerite, at her spinning wheel, which persuades Faust to purchase  Méphistophélès’s services on earth in exchange for Faust’s in Hell. Faust’s goblet of poison is  transformed by the Alchemist, Méphistophélès, into an elixir of youth, returning the aged Doctor’s youth and beauty; the strange companions are  then set out into the world.

– altered by Hystoria

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