Opera & Musical Theater

Fabiano On The Flaws And Faith Of Faust

Houston Grand Opera presents Charles Gounod’s Faust with tenor Michael Fabiano making his Houston debut in the title role.

Michael Fabiano in the Opera Australia production of Faust.
Michael Fabiano in the Opera Australia production of Faust.

The German legend of Faust has provided inspiration for a multitude of artists. Perhaps the most famous version of the story comes from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose play in two parts, Faust, was published in the early nineteenth century. From composers Berlioz to Schnittke, to writers Thomas Mann and Clive Barker, and even the writers of Marvel Comics, the story of a desperate man who sells himself to dark forces (e.g., the Devil) offers a fairly rich creative backdrop.

Thus it was for Charles Gounod, who adapted Michel Carré's Faust et Maguerite, itself based on Goethe's play, into his own opera version of Faust. Beginning this weekend at Houston Grand Opera, Faust will be the Houston debut for internationally renowned tenor Michael Fabiano in the title role.

"It's a great opera to explore a very, very deep character," says Fabiano. "Faust goes through a huge range of emotions... jealousy to happiness and romance, to anger and to grave sadness," he continues.

Fabiano has played the role before now, but he says he likes to come back to this opera after doing other works because of the demands of the part that reinforce his vocal technique. "It reminds me how to use my voice," in his words.

Check out my conversation with Fabiano above in which we talk about how he taps into both the psychological and physical aspects of the role, his quite specific meal regimen, and the other projects he has following this run of Faust.

Faust opens at Houston Grand Opera this Friday, October 28th, and has four more performances up to Friday, November 11th.

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