On this day in 2005, the Met opened a new production of Faust.
David J. Baker scrutinized the production with the trenchant rigor for which Opera News is so widely respected:
The new Metropolitan Opera production of Gounod’s “Faust” (premiere, April 21) is remarkable for its unapologetic, indeed celebratory, approach to a work that often inspires producers to apply desperate corrective action. Director Andrei Serban and set and costume designer Santo Loquasto seem unconcerned with inventing new “philosophical” subtexts or cutting back on production values to demonstrate seriousness through austerity.
With applause-winning sets that represent recognizable spaces – Faust’s study, Marguerite’s garden and the rest – the production lays on color, light and action with the same zeal that enlivens the splendid musical performance.