Atlanta Opera's FAUST Will Mark Chorus Master Walter Huff's 25th Anniversary with Company
The Atlanta Opera continues its 2013-2014 season with a production of Charles-François Gounod's grand opera Faust. The opera will be presented on March 8, 11, 14, and 16 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, and will be dedicated to Atlanta Opera Chorus Master Walter Huff in honor of his 25th anniversary with the company. Single tickets, ranging from $26-$133, can be purchased online at atlantaopera.org, or by calling 404-881-8885. Two-opera season ticket packages, which include Faust and the upcoming production of The Barber of Seville, are also available, offering patrons premium seating at discounted prices.
Gounod's Faust is famous for having been the production selected to open the new Metropolitan Opera House in 1883. Faust has not been seen in Atlanta since The Atlanta Opera produced it to open its inaugural season at The Fox Theatre in 1995.
The Atlanta Opera's 2014 production of Faust will feature rising superstar tenor Noah Stewart making his Atlanta Opera debut in the title role. Noah Stewart recently made international news as the first black artist to top the UK classical album chart in its 25-year history with his debut album, "Noah." The role of Marguerite will be sung by the radiant Mary Dunleavy, who wowed Atlanta Opera audiences as Violetta in last season's La traviata. A soprano with The Metropolitan Opera, Dunleavy is also known for her performance in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated movie Lincoln. Making his Atlanta Opera debut, internationally celebrated Russian bass Alexander Vinogradov performs the role of Méphistophélès.
The Atlanta Opera's Carl and Sally Gable Music Director, Arthur Fagen, will conduct The Atlanta Opera Orchestra for Faust. The Atlanta Opera Chorus, featured prominently in this production, will be prepared by Chorus Master Walter Huff. Metropolitan Opera stage director Louisa Muller will direct Faust, which will feature Earl Staley-designed sets and costumes from a production originally staged for Houston Grand Opera by Francesca Zambello.
Faust first premiered in Paris in 1859, and exemplifies the French grand opéra tradition with a lavish score featuring a large cast and orchestra, dramatic plot, dynamic choral scenes, and stunning set and costume design. Gounod's operatic retelling of the famous legend, loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's play of the same name, is a rousing tale of the struggle between good and evil. Set in the 16th century in Germany, the elderly scholar Faust sells his soul to the devil Méphistophélès, regaining his youth and the opportunity to seduce the beautiful Marguerite - but he in turn is seduced by her goodness.
Faust will be performed in French with projected English translations.
Ticketholders may attend a free pre-opera talk about Faust, held one hour prior to each performance inside the John A. Williams Theatre at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
Photo by J.D. Scott