Houston Matters

Tenor Michael Fabiano on the Flaws and Faith 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, […]

Michael Fabiano in the Opera Australia production of Faust. (Courtesy of the artist's website.)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. Houston Grand Opera’s production of 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.

Houston Public Media’s Joshua Zinn talks with Fabiano about how he taps into both the psychological and physical aspects of the role.

Faust at Houston Grand Opera runs through Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.

(Above: Michael Fabiano in the Opera Australia production of Faust. Image Courtesy of the artist’s website.)

MORE: Michael Fabiano Extended Conversation (Houston Public Media, Oct. 24, 2016)

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