Faust opera is presented at the Municipal Theater of Santiago. The musical direction of both staff is in charge of the master Pedro Pablo Prudencio. Including this season, it is 38 times that the Charles Gounod’s opera comes to the scene in this stage, and in disturbed days and it is more than understood that is due to a question that this play raise to all the audience; Who has time to do good when de devil walks among us? Performances until November 16.
“How much I laugh at how beautiful I am”
Margarita is the beauty of a people and the virtue of a nation. From a good family, her brother Valentín respects tradition, faith and the land where they and their ancestors were born. Therefore, for the pleasure of corrupting a pure soul and sowing unhappiness in hearts, Mephistopheles chooses her to tempt Doctor Faust. In the first act the old man on the verge of suicide receives the visit of the lord of hell, the devil Mephistopheles comes to offer him a pact: “you will be my master here, I will be your master there”. “There?” asks the doctor, who in his many studies knows of the eternity of suffering that awaits him in that “there”. He hesitates and distances himself from the proposal of the handsome gentleman who elegantly offers his gifts. But an apparition, a vision of virtue, comes to the scene. It is Margarita, dancing, laughing, illuminating life at its slight pace. When the devil promises youth and the maiden, Faust agrees to an agreement that will seal her destiny.
What the doctor does not know, in spite of books and experience, is that the presence of Mephistopheles extends greed like cancer, corrupting beyond salvation not only Faust, who will suffer in the underworld, but turning the lives of the living into hell. Look at young Siebel, who is in love with his friend Valentin’s sister. How much will he suffer when he sees her changed, wearing the jewels that the devil has given the new suitor? Siebel, who has a humble gift, is overshadowed by the wealth that the devil gives Faust to seduce Margarita, and she does not take long to abandon her principles and accept the gifts of her new suitor, without asking much about her past, not caring much about the affection that an act backwards showed Siebel by inviting him to dance “Ainsi que la brise légêre”. How much will her pain be when she sees Margarita turned into a woman who vainly rejoices when she wears the jewels, saying “how much I laugh at how beautiful I am”.
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La inversión del rito
“The trendiest music and the one you can hum is Mephistopheles” Pedro Pablo Prudencio says about Gounod’s compositions for Faust. As in The Devil’s Advocate, vanity and easy enjoyment are the favorite tools to tempt people who will forget the harm their actions cause. The audience forgets that it is Satan who wears the glossy suit, and they continue to watch their gestures, marking the rhythm with their feet. The dark figure generates an unavoidable magnetism, which disrupts and reverts particular lives, marking entire villages. See the scene in which Margarita, now a mother, seeks forgiveness for her sins in the Church of the people. She wants to baptize her child born out of wedlock, but finds only rejection and condemnation for her actions. Her brother risks his life in war and she gives herself to pleasures without respecting the tradition of marriage. A priest in red robes curses her, anguish grows in the chest of the wretched and the infernal glow of red increases. Here is the crime that moves in its horrific vigilance: they kill the baby.
The reversal of the rite: what should have been a baptism is transformed into a burial, just like the arrival of the protagonist’s brother, who on returning from the war would have a moment of joy as a result of the reunion, but as Valentín learns that his sister has become a single mother, he cannot help but mourn Dr. Fausto and return to the violence that the war imprinted on his body. The damage caused by Mephistopheles corrodes all spaces, deprives the people of a war hero, perpetuating violence. The devil provokes, the people suffer. Who can be saved from condemnation? Who can look to God when Mephistopheles offers an easy way out of every difficulty? When pain makes one’s whole life bitter, can sincere repentance save a soul?
To close, it is worth mentioning the scenography by Renato Theobaldo, with modular structures that build new functional scenes of great beauty and retouched details, typical of a show of the highest level, with the speed of the sliding. Due to the national event, Faust’s performances are at 2 pm, tickets for the November 16 performance at the Municipal Theater are already sold out.