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La Damnation de Faust

Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869)

Informationen Zum Werk

Légende dramatique in four parts;
Libretto by Hector Berlioz and Almire Gandonnière, based on Goethe's „Faust I“; First performance on 6th December, 1846 at Salle Favart [ Opéra-Comique ], Paris; First scenic performance on 18. February, 1893 at Salle Garnier, Monte Carlo; Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 23. February, 2014

In French language with German and English surtitles

2 hours 15 mins / no interval

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance



Sir Donald Runnicles
Patrick Davin (12.10.2018)

Stage director and Choreographer

Christian Spuck

Stage design, Costume design

Emma Ryott

Light design

Reinhard Traub

Light design

Ulrich Niepel

Chorus Master

Jeremy Bines


Irene Roberts


John Irvin


Roberto Tagliavini


Byung Gil Kim


Cornelia Kim

About the performance

Conventional and moderate he was not, in life as in art, and so it is with Hector Berlioz' musical rendition of the Faust myth, which explodes all conventions and genres. Berlioz initially called his DAMNATION OF FAUST an “opera concertante”, then a “dramatised legend”. Ultimately, the work is one thing above all else – a grand spectacle incorporating all conceivable forms. Here we are presented with a score made up of opera, oratorio and symphonic elements, lieder, dances, marches, drinking songs, large-scale chorus pieces, a fugue parody and a quodlibet of superimposed troopers' songs. Musically speaking, a composition from the mid 19th century could hardly be more heterogeneous.

And this complexity is also a reflection of the title character himself. The world of Berlioz' Faust has ceased to be describable in a linear, unified fashion. The work gives us episodes from the life and death of a romantic, one who does not deal actively but is rather gripped in the ennui of a Lord Byron. Faust is trapped in this boredom and lethargy; nothing can tear him from it – not the crash of battle nor folklore nor anything that Mephisto can serve up in terms of musical and theatrical brouhaha.

Christian Spuck is one of the top choreographers of the younger generation. In recent years he has left his imprint as house choreographer at the Stuttgart Ballet and has been Director of Ballet at the Zurich Opera since 2012. Christian Spuck increasingly straddles the genres of opera and dance. Berlioz' DAMNATION OF FAUST, which he directs and choreographs, marks his Berlin debut.

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