First Gounod, then Berlioz. Nothing is sacred!
In 2006, Teatro Regio di Parma gave full control (direction, staging, costumes, and lighting) to Argentinian director Hugo De Ana to produce Charles Gounod's Faust. Opera Chic was there, and I can tell you: it was not pretty.
Guess who's back? Hugo De Ana is back! This Thursday, January 25, 2007, the second interpretation within one year of the Faustian legend will have its premiere at Teatro Regio di Parma. This time, the sacrificial lamb is Hector Berlioz's La damnation de Faust, and again, De Ana will apply his creative vision to direction, staging, costumes, and lighting.
(Gounod's Faust from 2006 at Parma: Trapped inside a Tiffany Lamp)
Last year's De Ana Faust (Gounod) featured two very creepy girls in Act V to escort Marguerite's soul to heaven, muscle-bound men flitting and gyrating around the stage wearing leather chaps and giant strap-on d1ldos, and lots of dominatrix-themed costumes inspired by Jean Paul Gaultier-era Madonna. The lighting made one feel like they were trapped inside a giant Tiffany lamp, but not in that cool Art Nouveau way. There were so many revolving, shiny structures on stage (which acted as a giant disco ball) so the audience was directly assalted by the reflections almost the entire performance.
(Gounod's Faust from 2006 at Parma: Weirdy Weirdy)
Which leaves us to wonder :trepidatious: what is to be displayed in the upcoming Berlioz? Well, De Ana has already promised that this new Faust will be "cruel", with violent transitions between the scenes, and provocative images. Can it get any better? Maybe possibly yes.
De Ana hints that he has implemented as scenery a parabolic dish (satellite dish) with antennae, "like the kind that NASA uses to capture signals from space". He goes on to say that he uses the dish on stage to capture the thousands of images that are provoked by Berlioz's music.
I'm choking on foods from laugh. I'm just sitting here patiently waiting for his next opera: with robots.
Our friends at Playbill have an excellent Gounod piece here