Julian Rosefeldt | Oper
Datum: Fr | 28.10.2022
Fr | 04.11.2022
Ort: Opera Ballet Vlaanderen | Schouwburgstraat 3 | Gent | Belgien


Szenen aus Goethes Faust / Scenes from Goethe's Faust is one of the best kept secrets of romantic music theatre. For his two key works of German literature, Faust: A Tragedy, Part I and II (1808 – 1832), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe created a visionary protagonist in the scientist and entrepreneur Dr. Faust. As a character, Dr. Faust anticipated the great issues of our time: capitalism, post-colonialism, the exploitation of nature, and environmental disasters. With his magnum opus, composer Robert Schumann pays tribute to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, capturing the essence in seven iconic scenes, alternating between opera and oratory. Both artists turned Faust and his pact of the devil into a life's work that is both utterly unique and timelessly universal.

Faust is a disenchanted scholar, fruitlessly seeking the deepest truth. In exchange for his soul, the Devil promises him a life full of pleasure, culminating in one perfectly happy moment. This unlikely duo is driven by recognisable desires with a dark shadow: from tragic love to the blind drive for progress. In the end, redemption awaits, but the road there is a rollercoaster of striving, falling down and always struggling back up. Faust, that's us.


Brought to stage in collaboration with choreographer Femke Gyselinck and set designer Sammy Van den Heuvel, Faust is Julian Rosefeldt’s first work as a director of an opera. As a visual backdrop for the staged oratorio, the artist created a film whose gallery version Penumbra was previously shown at König Galerie in Berlin, Bruno Múrias in Lisbon, Galería Helga de Alvear in Madrid, and will have its institutional premiere at Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte in December 2022. In his interpretation, Rosefeldt resolutely roots Schumann's Faust in the here and now. The Faustian condition comes to life in all its richness from the counterpoint between video, dance and play: from tragic love to relentless progress and an ultimate transfiguration with cosmic dimensions.


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