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Great Performances At The Met: Faust

Airs Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 12 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite and Jonas Kaufmann as the title character in this new production of Gounod’s “Faust,” set in the first half of the 20th century.

Three of the opera world’s leading stars—Jonas Kaufmann, Marina Poplavskaya, and René Pape—sing the principal roles in a new production of Gounod’s "Faust," directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff in his Met debut. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.

René Pape as Méphistophélès, Jonas Kaufmann as the title character and Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite in this new production of Gounod’s “Faust,” set in the first half of the 20th century.
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Above: René Pape as Méphistophélès, Jonas Kaufmann as the title character and Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite in this new production of Gounod’s “Faust,” set in the first half of the 20th century.

Michèle Losier as Siebel in this new production of Gounod’s “Faust,” set in the first half of the 20th century.
Enlarge this image

Above: Michèle Losier as Siebel in this new production of Gounod’s “Faust,” set in the first half of the 20th century.

Kaufmann makes his Met role debut as the title character, and Poplavskaya makes hers as Faust’s love interest and eventual victim, Marguerite; Pape returns to one of his greatest Met roles, the wicked tempter Méphistophélès.

French-Canadian mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier makes her house role debut as the student Siébel and Russell Braun makes his in the role of Marguerite’s soldier brother, Valentin.

Gounod’s opera has been a staple of the Met’s repertory since 1883, when it was the first opera ever presented at the old Metropolitan Opera House.

McAnuff’s design team for "Faust" includes two Tony nominees in their Met debuts: scenic designer Robert Brill and costume designer Paul Tazewell. Peter Mumford, whose work at the Met includes "Madama Butterfly," "Carmen," and "Peter Grimes," designed the lighting for the production.

Choreographer Kelly Devine and video designer Sean Nieuwenhuis also made their Met debuts with this production. Mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato hosts. Barbara Willis Sweete directs the telecast.

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Video

Preview: Great Performances At The Met: Faust

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Watch GP at the Met: Faust on PBS. See more from Great Performances.

Above: With Jonas Kaufmann in the title role, René Pape as the devil and Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite, Gounod’s classic retelling of the "Faust" legend is directed by Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff, who updates the story to the first half of the 20th century in a production that won praise in London. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, on the heels of his "Don Carlo" success, conducts.

Video

Video Excerpt: Jonas Kaufmann and Marina Poplavskaya in "Faust"

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Watch Jonas Kaufmann and Marina Poplavskaya in Gounod's Faust on PBS. See more from Great Performances.

Above: Jonas Kaufmann (Faust) and Marina Poplavskaya (Marguerite) in the “Love Duet” from Gounod’s "Faust."

Video

Video Excerpt: Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape in "Faust"

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Watch Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape in Faust on PBS. See more from Great Performances.

Above: Jonas Kaufmann (Faust) and René Pape (Méphistophélès) in the prologue of Gounod’s “Faust.”