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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Faust of the Opera

From The New York Times:

In the annals of the Met, "Faust" can never be just another night at the opera. It was with "Faust" that the company - William Henry Vanderbilt's showcase for the Morgans, the Huntingtons, the Whitneys and their nouveau riche ilk - opened its doors, firing a shot across the bow of the Academy of Music on 14th Street, the preserve of the Belmonts and the Astors. That was on Oct. 22, 1883, and within two seasons, the Academy of Music was but a memory. In decades to come, Gounod's melodious adaptation of the most familiar episodes from Goethe's densely philosophical, encyclopedically symbolic 12,000-verse dramatic poem showed up so often that some took to calling the Met the Faustspielhaus, punning on the German for a festival hall.
The Times story is on the latest version. Alert the Opera Ghost.


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