In the most diabolical futures trade ever placed, Méphistophélès persuades Faust to bargain away his eternal soul for the opportunity to seduce Marguerite. Gounod’s quintessential Romantic-era opera, Faust joins the Santa Fe repertory in this new production led by chief conductor Frédéric Chaslin and director Stephen Lawless. Ailyn Pérez stars as Marguerite. The title role is sung by Bryan Hymel.
July 1, 6, 9, 15; August 1, 8, 15, 20, 24, 27
Charles Gounod composer
Sung in French
Alone in his study, the aged Dr. Faust worries that his lifelong search for the meaning of existence has been useless. He raises a goblet of poison to his lips but hesitates when he hears young people outside his window, awakening all the unfulfilled passions of his youth. Cursing life, the philosopher calls on the devil for help. Méphistophélès appears, and Faust tells him he craves youth and pleasure. This can be arranged if Faust will forfeit his soul. Faust hesitates until Méphistophélès produces a vision of the beautiful Marguerite. A magic potion transforms Faust into a handsome young man, and he leaves with Méphistophélès in search of Marguerite and pleasure.
Soldiers and townspeople celebrate the local fair. A young officer, Valentin, holding a medallion from his sister Marguerite, asks his friend, the young boy Siébel, to protect the girl in his absence and then bids a touching farewell. Wagner, a student, begins a lively song but is interrupted by Méphistophélès, who sings an homage to greed and gluttony. The Devil refuses a drink from Wagner and amazes the crowd by causing new wine to flow from an old keg. When he proposes a toast to Marguerite, Valentin draws his sword, but it shatters. Recognizing Satan, the soldiers hold their swords like crosses before Méphistophélès, who leaves in disgust. As the crowd begins a waltz, Faust manages to speak to Marguerite just before she demurely refuses to let him escort her home. Méphistophélès returns to lead the merrymakers in their dance.
Siébel briefly visits Marguerite's garden to leave her a bouquet of flowers. The romantic youth is followed by Faust and Méphistophélès, who goes in search of a gift to outshine Siébel's. Left alone, Faust hails Marguerite's simple home. Méphistophélès returns with a box of jewels that he places near Siébel’s flowers. When Marguerite arrives in the garden, she sings a ballad about the king of Thule, distractedly interrupting the verses with reflections on the stranger she has met. Discovering the flowers and box, the girl exclaims in delight as she adorns herself with jewels. Unable to resist the temptation, she tries on all the jewels. Faust completes his seduction. As Méphistophélès invokes a night full of stars, Marguerite confesses her love, but nevertheless begs Faust to leave. The Devil mocks Faust's failure, and points to Marguerite, who has reappeared at her window, still enraptured by the night of love. She yields to his embraces, as Méphistophélès' taunting laughter is heard in the garden.
Marguerite seeks refuge in church, only to be pursued by Méphistophélès, who curses her and torments her with threats of damnation. She collapses.
In the town square, Valentin and his comrades return from war, singing the glory of those slain in battle. Valentin questions Siébel about Marguerite but receives only vague answers. Faust, repenting his abandonment of Marguerite, arrives with Méphistophélès, who serenades the girl with a lewd ballad. Valentin, defending his sister's honor, fights a duel with Faust. At a crucial moment, Méphistophélès intervenes and Valentin is fatally wounded. As the Devil drags Faust away, Marguerite kneels by her fatally wounded brother, who curses her with his last breath. She rises slowly and giggling madly to herself, moves through the crowd of villagers.
Marguerite lies sleeping on the floor of her prison cell, where she has been confined for the murder of her illegitimate child. Faust and Méphistophélès appear in the cell to help her escape. As the Devil keeps watch, Faust wakens Marguerite; at first the distracted girl is overjoyed to see her lover, but instead of fleeing with him she tarries to recall their first days of happiness. Marguerite calls on the angels to save her and she walks to the gallows. Méphistophélès pronounces her condemned, but as she approaches the hangman, a choir of angels proclaims her salvation.
- Marguerite - Ailyn Pérez
- Marthe - Jamie Barton
- Siebel - Jennifer Holloway
- Faust - Bryan Hymel
- Valentin (thru 8/1) - Matthew Worth
- Valentin (from 8/8) - Christopher Magiera
- Mephistopheles - Mark S. Doss
- Wagner - Darik Knutsen
- Conductor - Frédéric Chaslin
- Director - Stephen Lawless
- Scenic Designer - Benoit Dugardyn
- Costume Designer - Susan Willmington
- Lighting Designer - Pat Collins
- Choreographer - Nicola Bowie