We sat, bewildered, all of us, watching (enduring) Gounod’s sweet little tear jerker as a nasty drug trip. Except for the Australian Marguerite it was an all French cast and they all gamely played along, the sophisticated verse of Offenbach’s librettists Jules Barbier and Michel CarrÈ clearly sailing out over an abrasive pit.
Gounod’s Faust makes a much welcomed return to the Royal Opera House. With each new cast, the dynamic changes as the balance between singers shifts and brings out new insights. In that sense, every revival is an opportunity to revisit from new perspectives. This time Bryn Terfel sang MÈphistophÈlËs, with Joseph Calleja as Faust – stars whose allure certainly helped fill the hall to capacity. And the audience enjoyed a very good show.
When the Royal Opera House London does things well, it does them very well indeed. This Gounod’s Faust was a sizzler!