The Damnation of Faust is La Fura’s second approach to the Faustian myth, this time from an operatic perspective. Conceived by Hector Berlioz in 1846, this work cannot be considered a conventional opera. Some people consider it a symphony opera, where the music takes precedence over the strictly narrative; but it would be a mistake to think that either Berlioz or Gandoniere and Gerard de Nerval, the authors of the libretto, had abandoned the text. Berlioz knew Goethe’s work very well and Nerval had translated it into French. Perhaps the best classification for this impossible-to-classify opera would be the one that Berlioz himself came up with: dramatic legend. The special nature of The Damnation of Faust lies in its lack of internal structure. Berlioz took eight of the scenes from Goethe’s work and recreated them in his music. This trait made it easier for La Fura dels Baus and Jaume Plensa to find a continuum that could be expressed by the staging. The final proposal told the story of the creation of a new man, the fusion of complementary opposites: the result of melting Faust, Mephistopheles and Margaret into one single being. The adventure of the creation of the Faustian being would have pleased Berlioz and, almost definitely, Goethe; perhaps because they both exemplified the values of artistic romanticism, so preoccupied with symbolism and the fantastical. In four parts and two epilogues (on earth and in heaven), this staging places Berlioz’s work in a dreamlike world, studded with references to the fusion between the different aspects of the self. The Damnation of Faust, just like we saw in La Atlántida, shows the relationship that exists between the staging and the space where it occurs. In the case of Berlioz’s opera, the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg, a grand theatre carved out of rock with a stage more than 40 metres long, strengthened the staging created by La Fura dels Baus even further.”
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
Hector Berlioz, Almire Gandonnière y Gérard de Nerval, a partir de Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
La Fura dels Baus, Jaume Plensa.
Àlex Ollé, Carlos Padrissa
(La Fura dels Baus).
Escenografía y vestuario
Creación y realización vídeo
Colaboración escenográfica y dirección técnica
José Antonio Sáinz, Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden.
Fausto: Paul Groves.
Mefistófeles: Willard White.
Margarita: Vesselina Kasarova.
Brander: Andreas Macco.
Bailarines-actores de La Fura dels Baus
Toni Jodar, Vidi Vidal, Susana Goulart, Sergi Faustino.
Orquesta Staatskapelle Berlín
Orfeón Donostiarra de San Sebastián, Tölzer Knabenchor.
Equipo de La Fura dels Baus
Director de producción: Salvador Pons.
Regidor: Jordi Soler.
Asistente coreografía: Toni Jodar.
Técnicos riggers: Carlos Bertolín, Xeco.
Producción ejecutiva: Isabel Urpí.
Ayudante producción: Mireia Romero.
Festival de Salzburgo
Director técnico: Klaus Kretschmer.
Coordinación técnica: Joachim Janner.
Responsable de escenario: Helmut Schauer.
Iluminación: Paul Fresacher,
Sonido: Gerhard Pitter, Markus Waldner.
19/8/99, en la Felsenreitschule,
Festival de Salzburgo.
Un espectáculo producido por el Festival de Salzburgo, bajo la dirección de Gerard Mortier.
This staging of the opera by Hector Berlioz, for the Salzburg Festival, established La Fura’s prestige in international opera circles and was the company’s second take on the Faustian myth.
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