Charles Gounod (1818-1893)
Opera in five acts
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on the play Faust et Marguerite (1850)
Michel Carré and the homonymous work (1808) de Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
New production of Teatro Real , coproduced with De Nationale Opera & Ballet Amsterdam
D. musical: Dan Ettinger
D. scene: Alex Olle (La Fura dels Baus)
Works towards scene: Valentina Carrasco
Scenography and video: Alfons Flores
illuminator: Urs Schönebaumm
D. choir: Andres Maspero
Distribution: Ismael Jordi, Erwin Schrott, Irina Lungu, John Chest, Isaac Galan,
Annalisa Stroppa, Diana Montague.
Chorus and Orchestra holders RealHomúnculo Theater is defined as being with human characteristics, usually deformed and artificially created. It seems that was the alchemist Paracelsus who first used this term for a creature created when trying to find the philosopher's stone. Homunculus theory was accepted until 1827, year in which it was discovered the existence of the egg. Until that moment, it was thought that the sperm hid a homunculus or miniature man for the egg only served alimento.El homunculus is also the element that has inspired to La Fura dels Baus, specifically its director Alex Ollé, to develop the scenery of Faust presents the Royal Theater at the premiere of his new temporada.Son several repertory operas that premiered with failure. But if there is one that takes the cake, definitely, That's Faust, Charles Gounod. Its premiere at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris 19 of March 1859 It proved a dismal failure. The French public had branded the work of "tawdry" and, especially, little French. All this despite the enormous popularity at the time aroused German culture, Goethe being one of its emblems. Which itself was succeeded from the start in Germany. The adaptation of the librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, He not delved into the philosophical aspects of a cult for German, and also they allowed the luxury of altering the order of importance of some characters, the play was, until not too long ago, with the title of "Marguerite". It was from its premiere in Germany when they started successes Faust. It was represented to satiety, all seasons and in almost all European theaters. Such was his popularity that, a 22 October 1883, a new theater company wanted to release his first season representing opera Faust. It was the Metropolitan Opera it is dual House.Faust. It is a French-style opera also features great German opera, as an important choir, various ballet numbers, the epic of one of his characters or the time left between numbers Gounod for the public to applaud. this detail, very Wagnerian.

But back to the scenery. When it comes to La Fura dels Baus, we know beforehand that other elements like operatic voices, showmanship, even music, they will stay in the background. Sometimes this can be for good or, as in the present case, worse.

Under the homunculus project has placed the scene in a big laboratory where Faust pursues the idea of ​​inventing a computer capable of managing emotions. Frustrated and dissatisfied, accepts the offer of her alter-ego, Mephistopheles, It presented as a necessary evil, the espoleador Faust who rescues his boredom and convinces him to live everything to which he thinks he resigned so far. Mèphisto, appearing first as a rock star, camaleónica is evolving in a way to become a crucified Christ. With them, Postmodern an army of soldiers, plasticized Barbies that look naked, mature women with exaggerated breasts and hooligans with their uniforms football fans. Definitely, many conceptual elements and complex ideas that have little development or lace along the work. A stage that is full of platitudes, The usual.

La Fura no longer surprising and is only able to generate controversy when the function ends and begins its shameful spectacle of pollution, completely oblivious to artistic matters.

The musical direction was provided by the debutant Dan Ettinger Teatro Real. The young Israeli director asserted his Germanic musical training and managed to disappear any vestige of French opera. The sound volume was excessive, perfect for Wagner, but not for Gounod. It lacked delicacy, especially in the overture and arias set, where some chaos generated. that if, It is an extraordinary director for singers.

This second distribution was balanced. Faust is not an easy role for a tenor. It has two distinct parts that seem to have been written for two tenors of different characteristics. The first is a mature and dramatic Faust and the second one young Faust lighter. Ismael Jordi addresses carefully the character in the first part, for its drama and voice require a larger. It is in the overture where the tenor has more difficulties jerezano. The rest of the play takes place in a more comfortable frame of mind for him. It has moments of tension that solves correctly, as the cavatina or the beautiful duet with Marguerite. Jordi is an extraordinary moment vowel, always elegant and with a remarkable stage presence.

The Mephisto Erwin Schrott was a great theatricality, a must in this character and this production. Whenever he was on stage was the protagonist. His voice does not reach the required frame of mind for this role, but they are not easy to find baritone voices let them know. Its volume is very noticeable and pleasant timbre, but some nasal sounds a bit afearon participation.

La Marguerite Irina Lungu, character in the opera somewhat blurred on the text of Goethe, It is a delicate and innocent young. From this point of view was well played by Lungu. His voice is not large, but enough and well timbrada.

John Chest, as Valentin, It was one of the great volume affected by the sound of the orchestra. Just he was heard.

Siebel, youthful and romantic character, It was very well played by the Italian Annalisa Stroppa. Beautiful timbre and an enameled and smooth voice that the audience liked, sobre todo en su aria "Make her my confession".

The veteran target Montague built a sympathetic character and Marthe. The perfect complement to a Faust with comic aspirations.

The choir had a stellar performance. If the season begins, not going to leave for the ring. Fantastic!.

Initially somewhat irregular season. But this has only just begun.

Text: Paloma Sanz
pictures: Javier del Real
Videos: Teatro Real


The Royal Theater opens its 22nd season next 19 September with Faust, from Charles Gounod (1818-1893), in a co-production with Teatro Real national Opera & Ballet Amsterdam, which premiered production, with an enthusiastic reception, in May 2014.

Estrenada en el Teatro Lirico de París, he 19 March 1859, with an icy response from the French public, Faust It has been imposed gradually in the operatic repertoire, despite the reluctance of critics, who have fallen into the trap of evaluating the score based on the immeasurable greatness of the work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).

While it is true that the librettists Jules Barbier Y Michel Carré They reduced the plot of the opera diabolical pact and the love affair between Faust and Marguerite away from the philosophical complexity of the text of Goethe, perhaps it is precisely the simplicity and spontaneity of the score the secret of his success.

The play, which departs from the grandiloquence of the grand opera French, He has seduced the public, who revels in the beauty of the melodies, refined orchestration, choral parts formidable, the contrast between the numbers, the sarcasm of some dialogues and delicacy of the most intimate nature scenes.

Alex Olle, for the fourth time addressing the myth of Faust throughout his career La Fura dels Baus --after F @ ust 3.0 (1997), The Damnation of Faust, Hector Berlioz (1999) and the movie Splendor 5.0 (2001)─ it moves away from the shallowest reading score, delving into the issue that crosses all the work of Goethe: the pursuit of unlived life. Instigates Mephistopheles Faust to satisfy the desires that has hidden, He has sublimated drives and perversions that has camouflaged. Mephistopheles and Faust alter ego: the devil wears hidden.

In the purest style 'I Fura', Alex Olle and the scenography Alfons Flores dramaturgical resort to artifices of great theatrical effectiveness, Fausto placing in a laboratory, where he works on a huge computer that simulates the human brain, with their traps and fantasies, which are emerging archetypes of modern society, very recognizable by the public.

Next to Valentina Carrasco (collaborator in stage direction), Luke Castles (costume designer) Y Urs Shönebaum (illuminator), They have created an inventive production, Sarcastic and spectacular, which it has the complicity of a double cast headed by tenors Piotr Beczala e Ismael Jordi, in the title role; las sopranos Marina Rebeka Y Irina Lungu in the role of Marguerite; baritones Luca Pisaroni, Erwin Schrott Y Adam Finger as Mephistopheles, Stéphane Diverting Y John Chest, as Valentin; y las sopranos Serena Malfi Y Annalisa Stroppa transvestite role in Siébel.

The musical direction will be Israeli master Dan Ettinger, debuting in Madrid in front of Headlines Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real and preparing the chorus, with great prominence in the score of Gounod, is in charge, as usual, its director Andrés Máspero.

Premiered at the Royal Theater 1865, six years after his cold first in Paris, Faust He seduced since the public of Madrid, It is one of the most represented operas until closing theater 1925. Since its reopening have been offered 10 functions, on February 2003, with a production of Gotz Friedrich tribute to. Faust returns to the Royal Theatre 15 years later, a drama that will bring a new reading of the inexhaustible richness of this universal myth.


13 September at 20.15 hours | Teatro Real, Sala Gayarre

approaches: meeting with artists participating in Faust and Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the Teatro Real

19 September to 7 October| National Museum of Romanticism

a work, an opera: Mephistopheles, Joaquin Espalter (1872), box representing Goethe's Faust at the time kidnaps Marguerite

30 of September, to 11.00 hours | Teatro Real, Great room

Opera theater

projecting The Tales of Hoffmann, Jacques Offenbach, with musical direction by Sylvain Cambreling and stage director Christoph Marthaler.

2 October to 22 February | Complutense Institute of Musical Sciences

The excitement of opera (exposition): a tour of the nineteenth century opera through scores, images and unpublished documents. Tailoring includes pieces and props Royal Theater.

Historical Library Marqués de Valdecilla

4 October at 20.00 hours | TV Half | Classical Radio and EBU European Broadcasting Union

Streaming and Faust in the television MEZZO, in Classical Radio, the RNE, and stations that make up the EBU, European Broadcasting Union.

7 October, to 12.00 hours | Teatro Real, Great room

Chamber Sundays

Soloists of the Titular Orchestra of the Teatro Real

7 October at 12.00 and to the 17.00 hours | Teatro Real, Sala Gayarre

Everyone to the Gayarre!: music workshops for the whole family, direction and presentation of Fernando Palacios.

First session of the season: The devil lurks

ballerinas: Aurora Constanza, Elena Di Mare Ruiz and Inés Calderón.

Florian Boesch

Last 9 April we were about to hear in the Teatro de la Zarzuela the recital 6 of the Lied to the National Center for Dissemination of Music organizes every year. Antonio Moral, director, He came to the microphone stage at hand to explain the events that occurred during the weekend and alter the representation. Let's start thinking that the proposed merger between the Teatro Real and the Teatro de la Zarzuela in the latter triggered a series of mysterious events, although duly justified, they will need the work of an exorcist more than a few ministerial interventions.

Del Moral explained that the holder of the concert, Anna Lucia Richter, He had canceled their participation due to illness and became replaced by Julia Kleiter, and another young soprano located on the immediate horizon Lied Cycle. But Friday also suspended due to illness, which he left Antonio Moral a narrow margin for maneuver solved, as he himself said, pulling your friends. This is where it appears Florian Boesch. Austrian baritone is well known in this cycle and their makeshift, but very well chosen, Program, He was accompanied by Justus Zeyen on the piano, whose mastery at the keyboard contributed to the success of the recital.

The first part was devoted to Schubert poems by Goethe dedicated to the mythological Greece, Prometheus, D 674, Group from the tartar, D 583, Grezen of humanity, D 716, There Pilgrim, D 794, Calm sea, D 216 y The gods of Greece, D 677. He finished the first half with Gesänge des Harfners, D 478, Harpist songs that Boesch narrates with great expressiveness and Zeyen accompanies the piano as if it were the sound of a harp.

The second part was devoted to Schumann and three groups of songs on texts Heinrich Heine. Poor Peter. On. 53, song cycle, on. 24 y songs of Harfners, on. 98a. Boesch has an appreciable volume of voice at the service of its serious, which gives depth interpretation. Perhaps the nuances worst off, but it compensates with great interpretive sensitivity.

A recital, after the first surprise cancellations, was a success. And some performers who did enjoy an audience who thanked effort.


ABAO-OLBE (Bilbao Association of Friends of the Opera) begins 2015 with Werther from Massenet, paradigm of Romanticism. The following days 17, 20, 23 Y 26 from January, sponsored by the Department of Education, Linguistic Policy and Culture of the Basque Government, up on stage this title based on the classic of world literature "The Sorrows of Young Werther" of Goethe which deals with the profound experience of love that finds happiness. An opera as artistic director of the Bilbao Association, Child Cesidio:"It is a small dart that comes directly to the heart and we all see represented, hence hypnotism and excitement that causes ".

This lyrical drama in four acts and five paintings extremely romantic plot tells the story of impossible love between Werther and Charlotte and stands out for its delicate and elegant orchestral melodic line coating. To give life to the characters of this tragedy and face their musical complexity ABAO-OLBE has assembled a cast led by Roberto Alagna, one of the most acclaimed tenors today, debuting in the Association to give life to 'Werther', the melancholy poet. it is part, considered one of the major roles for tenor tessitura, It is known as "the French Tristan". Beside, mezzosoprano elena Zhidkova returns to Bilbao to give life to su enamored 'Charlotte'. Joining them complete the lineup soprano Elena de la Merced as 'Sophie', baritone Manuel Lanza as 'Albert', the bass Stefano Palatchi como 'Le Bailli', tenor Jon Plazaola as 'Schmidt', the bass Fernando Latorre como ‘Johann’, the tenor Martin Barcelona as 'Brühlmann' and soprano Susana Cerro as 'Käthchen'.

The musical direction is by teacher Michel Plasson, a specialist in the French repertoire, who made his debut at the Association for the front of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra address this score careful, powerful, beautiful orchestration whose iconic moments rotunda still cause great effect on the public. With them the children's choir Gaudeamus Korala.
On stage production, Aristocratic and captivating, the Teatro Regio in Turin concebida por David Alagna, debutante in Bilbao, beautifully recreates the environment of the city and inside the mansions where all the protagonists move.

Conference on "Werther"

In order to analyze, in advance the premiere, the most important aspects of this opera by Massenet, ABAO-OLBE has organized a conference, Free entry, For friday 16 January at the Hotel Ercilla to 20.00 hours. This time, Fernando Fraga, writer and music critic, Discover the ins and outs of Werther.