The Metropolitan Opera broadcasts continue on Classical 90.5 at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday, December 10th, with a performance of Faust by Charles Gounod, with a libretto in French by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust. The performance will run approximately four hours and ten minutes.
Based on Goethe's epic poem about the aging philosopher who sells his soul to the devil, Gounod's Faust was one of opera's most popular works for many decades following its 1859 premiere in Paris. In 1883, Faust was the first opera to be performed at the original Metropolitan Opera House in New York, and it was the company's most performed work for many years. The Met's current production, directed by Des McAnuff, sets Faust in a new historical setting: the first half of the 20th century. "I think Faust is one of the great masterpieces of the mid-19th century," says McAnuff. "And I'm interested in its pertinence to today. With any great work of art, it's about using it as a window to our own lives and times."