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An opera semiseria in four acts based on Goethe, first performed at the Théâtre-Italien de Paris (Salle Favart) on 7 March 1831. Libretto by the composer, translated by Luigi Balocchi.

Fausto combines two extremely rare circumstances on the Romantic opera scene. It is the work of a woman and, although Italian in language, style and genre, its composer was French. Its origins seem to go back to the late 1820s. Indeed, Louise Bertin published an Ultima scena di Fausto with Maurice Schlesinger in June 1826, a lyrical piece that was heard in the salons the following November. So had the four acts of the opera already been composed? They were not scheduled at the Théâtre-Italien de Paris until March 1830, where they were notably to be performed by Rosmunda Pisaroni (Fausto) and Maria Malibran (Margarita). In the meantime, Hector Berlioz had published his Huit Scènes de Faust (1828). The 1830 premiere was postponed, though, probably because Malibran refused to perform the work, and another year went by before Fausto appeared at the Théâtre-Italien. The vocal casting was overturned and the title role, originally intended for a contralto, was eventually given to the tenor Domenico Donzelli. Despite its careful staging and fairly kind reception - the originality of the score in particular being praised - the work disappeared from the playbill after just three performances and was never repeated. Some press articles suggest that a poor performance was the cause of this disaster. But it had allowed its composer to show off an expertise that won her the admiration of Victor Hugo and opened her the doors to the Opéra de Paris (La Esmeralda, 1836).


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