The Damnation of Faust (Met’s HD Broadcast)

I went to see/hear Met’s HD Broadcast yesterday – Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust (or as everyone pretentiously overpronounced it, La Damnation de Faust) – and I have to say that I thought it was a great production. The problem, you see, is that Damnation of Faust is not really an opera. It does have three main characters and a large chorus, but it does not have a coherent narrative, or at least it does not allow one to smoothly transition from one scene to another. It is a series of episodes, songs, or tableaux, if you will, from Goethe’s Faust. It is most often performed as a concert, not as a staged opera – there isn’t much to stage, I suppose. Here is for example a review of a concert version from 2005: Continue reading