Iconic Productions: The Damnation of Faust and Madame Butterfly

“Faust embodies man in our modern industrial society; he is a self-sufficient, intellectual egocentric who has romantic ideas and longings. He strives for the independent loneliness, for power and control over the world (performances and science), and for conquest and possession (love). It is a vicious cycle that ultimately leads to the destruction of man and world.” – The Damnation of Faust director Achim Freyer

A scene from <em>The Damnation of Faust</em> (2003); Photo: Robert Millard

A scene from The Damnation of Faust (2003); Photo: Robert Millard

The 2003/2004 season opened with an emotional journey into the mind of Faust. Hector Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, directed by Achim Freyer, created a stir in the way it connected modern audiences with the tragic tale. Faust is led down a sinful path by the diabolical Méphistophélès, losing his love Marguerite in the process. The season continued with another tragedy, Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. The minimalist production designed by Robert Wilson lent audiences sharp focus to the beauty of the Puccini’s music and the bleak world which principal character, Cio-Cio-San resides.

The cast of Madame Butterfly (2004); Photo: Robert Millard

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