Friday, 3 June 2011


I don't think I've done any reviews on here yet. Possibly because I'm crap at them. So here's a subjective and not particularly informative review of Faust - opera at the ENO directed by Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python, Fear & Loathing etc).

Faust was a truly unhinged piece of operatic theatre; fitting Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust into extraordinary detailed and busy scenes of Nazi Germany, heaven and hell. At several points there was so much going on on stage you simply had to pick one corner and marvel at what was unfolding there, otherwise there was simply too much to take in - in that respect I'd like to go again and catch more, preferably without that giganto-skulled man sitting in front of me. 

In terms of set pieces, action and scenery it was like nothing I've ever seen before - Dr Wotits's Imaginarium bloody wishes basically - and it must have been fooking expensive. Opera-wise the chorus and duets were lovely but there wasn't as much actual opera as you usually find in an opera. Margeurite had a beautiful voice, Faust couldn't hit the high notes (and had an extraordinary Jedward-style hairdo) and Mephistopheles was a bit camp, on top of that the Nazi setting didn't really fit with the actual words which were streaming on the surtitles but all in all it was a night for the eyes not the ears. My friend Emerald described it best as like watching a breathing painting. 

So, as an opera: 6/10
As an evening of wonderous WTF? 9.5/10
As a visual feast (said in ponderous tones): TEN OUT OF TEN
As an inspiration for hairstyles: -2.5/10
As a  venue for  interval ice-cream: Excellent
As an evening for fancying the conductor: Very high

Thanks Ma. 

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