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Opera Cheat Sheet

Opera Cheat Sheet: Mefistofele

Our intro to Boito’s version of the Faust legend, Saturday’s opera broadcast.


In this week’s Opera Cheat Sheet, Houston Public Media’s St.John Flynn and Eric Skelly give a quick overview of Arrigo Boito’s operatic treatment of the Faust story.

Taking the entirety of Goethe’s Faust as his inspiration (unlike the Faust operas by Berlioz and Gounod which only tell Part I of Goethe’s play), Boito, writing both the music and the libretto, crafts a drama that strives to be a fuller treatment of Goethe’s play, not just the “love” story of Faust and Margherita.

You can listen to San Francisco Opera’s performance of Mefistofele, with Ildar Abdrazakov singing the title role, Saturday at noon on Houston Public Media Classical 91.7.

[The excerpts heard in this OCS are taken from the RCA Victor recording of Mefistofele featuring Riccardo Muti conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Alla Scala, Milan.  Samuel Ramey, Mefistofele; Vincenzo La Scola, Faust; and Michèle Crider, Margherita/Elena (RCA 09026-68284-2)]