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Faust in Hollywood

September 16, 2008

  • date
    September 16, 2008
  • article type
    Press
  • category
    Opera Carolina News

Faust in Hollywood

Charlotte, NC – Perhaps you’ve watched the endearingly goofy Brendan Fraser in Bedazzled. Or maybe you’ve witnessed Keanu Reeves in The Devil’s Advocate. Both of these films are loosely based on or inspired by the story of Faust, the man who made a pact with the devil. The devilish storyline pops up in many art forms, from opera to literature, and the silver screen is no exception. Elizabeth Hurley appears as the sultry devil in Bedazzled, luring the Faustian figure (Brendan Fraser) into making several wishes, in the hopes of gaining his soul for her malicious use. In The Devil’s Advocate, Al Pacino, as the devil, comes close to enticing his own Faustian figure into a pact. The Devil’s Advocate draws not only on the story of Dr. Faustus, but on Paradise Lost as well – an influence hard to miss when Pacino’s Satan character goes by the moniker ‘John Milton.’ While neither of these films have a direct, one-to-one correlation with the tale of Faust, the similarities and influences are undeniable.

Unlike the films, Gounod’s devil successfully convinces Faust to sell his soul. Besides a few obvious differences (the opera’s devil will likely wear fewer red velvet outfits than Ms. Hurley), the operatic Faust actively seeks out the devil’s help, dissimilar to the aggressive moves necessary by the films’ devil figures. Additionally, the operatic version of the Faustian legend is all about the girl, Marguerite. While the legend does chronicle the interactions between Faust and Méphistophélès, the opera focuses on the tender young Marguerite, portrayed by Metropolitan Opera star Maureen O’Flynn, who makes it easy to focus on her character’s story. Marguerite’s tale takes center stage as Faust woos her, then completely ruins her. There’s no Hollywood ending for this opera – torn between both her love and fear of Faust, Marguerite chooses a fatal end.

In celebration of WDAV’s 30th Anniversary, Opening Night of Faust will be broadcast live on WDAV 89.9 FM. Join us on Saturday, October 18 for this momentous occasion in both Opera Carolina and WDAV’s history. Consistently appearing in The Charlotte Observer’s “101 Things to Do in Charlotte,” check Opera Carolina off the list and be a part of the 2008/2009 season!

Faust will be performed in the Belk Theater of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center October 18 at 8:00 p.m., October 23 at 7:30 p.m. & October 26 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available now by calling 704.372.1000 or visit us online at operacarolina.org. Full cast listings and bios are available at OC Artist Bios. To download images of this production please visit OC Media Photos. Current images available include: production photos, artist headshots, and the Opera Carolina logo.

Faust is sung in French with projected English titles. Opera Carolina’s production of Faust is recommended for PG-13 audiences, ages 13 and older. All performances feature the Opera Carolina Chorus and The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. This production is made possible by presenting sponsors Marjorie and Bob McDorman. Additional support provided by TIAA CREF, Wagner Noble, Grant Thornton, Hood Hargett, and U.S. Airways. Media support provided by The Charlotte Observer.

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Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, Opera Carolina today is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $3.5 million. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire the region's diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, Music Theater, and Education & Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.

Opera Carolina is supported by the Arts & Science Council-Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc., The North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of North Carolina, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.

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