The time it takes

Gounod’s modern Faust
by Andrea Oddone Martin
At the Fenice an unprecedented staging directed by Joan Anton Rechi. Music and literature make the myth current, in a story of human weaknesses that tell all the dramatic folds of a legendary character. Melodies that have remained in the hearts of generations describe the struggle between good and evil.

No time could have been better to stage Gounod’s Faust at Fenice theatre than April 22 to 30. Sulphur will be in the air, as is the empty cruelness of war. That’s what Mephistopheles does: he perverts the human mind and strokes our egos, tempting our weaknesses and putting what is wholesome and positive to sleep. And that’s what Dr. Faust does, too: he stirs up a spirit of revanche and feeds the cult of a self-referential personality, making a slave out of him.

The myth of Faust dates back to the late 1400s, and over the years, we have learned to recognize our malleability before temptation, our human weakness that makes us abandon reason, our short-sightedness, our subjugation to ego. Müller’s Faust and Goethe’s Urfaust left a deep mark in the Sturm und Drang movement, and we can see the Faustian spirit in Mr. Teufelsdröckh, the character in Thomas Carlyle’s novel Sartor Resartus.

Ph. Michele Crosera