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Faust (Barbier & Carré / Gounod)

Date

1859.3.19

Description

Opéra en 5 actes et 9 tableaux, d'après Goethe, créé au Théâtre-Lyrique de Paris le 19 mars 1859. Nouvelle version avec ballet et récitatifs créée au Théâtre impérial de l'Opéra le 3 mars 1869. 

Text

The Faust theme featured prominently in the European Romantic imagination. Goethe’s Faust, Part One (1897-1806) and Faust, Part Two (1827-1831), translated by Gérard de Nerval in 1827 and 1840, respectively, inspired French composers. In 1828 Hector Berlioz published Huit Scènes de Faust, and sent a copy to Goethe. Many years later he returned to the work, which, revised and expanded, became La Damnation de Faust (1846). The subject also inspired Louise Bertin (1831), Adolphe Adam (1833), Pamphile Aimon, Frédéric Barbier, Henri Litolff and Hervé (Le Petit Faust, 1869, a parody of Gounod’s work) and later Claude Terrasse. Gounod discovered Faust around 1838 and probably sketched the outlines of a work dedicated to that figure then much in vogue as early as 1840. The opera was premièred at the Théâtre-Lyrique on 19 March 1859. Its libretto, by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, was based on Carré’s play Faust et Marguerite (first performed at the Théâtre du Gymnase-Dramatique on 19 August 1850). After a successful initial run, the opera was presented at many other venues, and went through a whole series of changes. In particular, from 1860, for performances in other French theatres, recitatives replaced the original spoken dialogue. For performances in London, Gounod wrote a new Act II aria, “Even bravest heart may swell” (words by Chorley), translated for subsequent productions as “Avant de quitter ces lieux”, but never performed in Paris. Finally, a ballet had to be added in the final act before the work could be accepted by the Paris Opéra; Faust was first performed there on 3 March 1869. These various changes finally transformed Faust into a work in keeping with the conventions of grand opera. Faust was a triumph, both at the theatre in rue Le Peletier and at the Salle Garnier, and it has remained popular ever since. However, many “rejects” still remain to be rediscovered: the trio for Siébel, Wagner and Faust, for instance, and Méphistophélès’s “Maître scarabée”, the Marguerite-Valentin duet, Siébel’s “Faites lui mes aveux”, the Witches’ chorus, the symphonic Interlude, and others.

    Images - 42
  • Charles Gounod à l'époque de la création de Faust
  • Jules Barbier
  • Michel Carré
  • Adelina Patti : portraits et différents rôles
  • André Gresse en Méphistophélès (Faust de Gounod)
  • Antoinette Laute en Marguerite (Faust de Gounod)
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    Libretto - 1
  • Faust (Barbier & Carré)
  • Works - 4
  • Fantaisie dramatique sur Faust de Gounod op. 134 (Wilhelm Krüger)
  • Faust et Marguerite (Baumaine & Blondelet / Barbier)
  • Petit Faust, Le (Crémieux & Jaime / Hervé)
  • Valse de Faust de Gounod (Franz Liszt)
  • Persons - 3
  • BARBIER, Jules (1825-1901)
  • CARRÉ, Michel (1822-1872)
  • GOUNOD, Charles (1818-1893)
  • Themes - 4
  • Institution – Opéra de Paris
  • Lieux de musique – Salle Le Peletier
  • Opera – Opera in France in the nineteenth century
  • Opéra – L’opéra-comique
  • Symposia - 2
  • Gounod sous les feux de la rampe (2018)
  • The Performance of Opera from the late 19th Century to the early 20th Century: From Libretto to Staging (2011)
  • Studies - 6
  • Auclair, Mathias & Girard, Pauline – Les décors de Faust à l'Opéra de Paris (1869-1908)
  • Cao, Hélène – Goethe's Faust in Romantic music
  • Condé, Gérard – At all times, in all places
  • Dratwicki, Alexandre – Creating or recreating the 'first' Faust
  • Prévost, Paul – The other Faust
  • Sérié, Pierre – Pour une introduction à la dimension visuelle d’une représentation à l’Académie nationale de musique au XIXe siècle : le concept de...
  • Press articles -  45
  • Le Gaulois, 19 décembre 1858 [Faust de Gounod]
  • Le Ménestrel, 12 décembre 1858 [Faust de Gounod]
  • Courrier de Paris, 29 mars 1859 [Faust de Gounod]
  • Journal des débats, 21 mars 1859 [Faust de Gounod]
  • Journal des débats, 8 octobre 1859 [Faust de Gounod]
  • L’Année musicale, 1859 [Faust de Gounod]
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