Can you guess where I wasn’t sitting? If you guessed in any of the seats in the photo, you would be right. I was in the standing room only section – where tickets cost 3€ each. For the most part you could see everything (except for stage right) – my view looked directly into the orchestra pit, with a focus on the oboist.
At the Staatsoper tonight, I saw Faust by Charles Gounod. What an incredible experience. Even from high up, looking over the minimalistic set design, I marvelled at the costumes, and the staging, and the incredible voices of the cast and chorus. I was charmed by Mephistopheles and Valentine, pitied Faust, and completely related to Marguerite *spoiler alert – with the exception of her jail time (since I have never been incarcerated – nor have I ever had to plead to God for my soul…at least not yet).
The leads weren’t the only exceptional part of the production – the chorus was wonderful, that at one point I started crying. It may have been when Marguerite was dying (again spoiler alert), but I believe that the tears happened because the chorus was flawless, and not because she perished on stage, although that probably helped.
Faust ends its run on January 28,2018. So if you aren’t already in Vienna or have plans to be here in the next couple of days – you will probably miss it. And that would be a shame.
My next and last opera in Vienna, will be Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, on Sunday. Maybe by then, I will be better at writing opera reviews.
*Not sure why I offered spoiler alerts – since the opera is almost 160 years old, and the story of Faust and Mephistopheles goes back much further. I’ve decided to not feel guilty about spoiling the story for those of you who haven’t seen it. It’s your own fault, for waiting this long.
Now go forth, and see an opera.