2014, ROH London, Faust


Composer: Charles-Francois Gounod
Librettist: Jules Barbire and Michel Carre after Carre’s “Faust et Marguerite” and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “Faust”, Part 1.
Venue and Dates:

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London
4 , 7, 11,  14,  17,  22,  25 April

Conductor: Maurizio Benini
Director: David McVicar
Sets: Charles Edwards
Costumes: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting: Paule Constable
Choreography: Michael Keegan-Dolan

Faust : Jospeh Calleja
Mephistopheles : Bryn Terfel
Marguerite : Sonya Yoncheva (4./7./17./22.4), Alexia Voulgaridou
Wagner : Jihoon Kim
Valentin : Simon Keenlyside
Siebel : Renata Pokupic
Marthe Schwertlein : Diana Montague


BBC Radio 3 will broadcast this production as their Opera Matinée on 24 September 2020 at 2pm. The broadcast should then be available to listen to on  BBC Sounds for the following 30 days. Click here for link….

Photo Gallery

Sound Bites

Mark Ronan, 5.4.2014

” …and Simon Keenlyside’s wonderful Valentin. His Avant de quitter ces lieux in Act II was the first show stopper of the evening, and the power and sincerity of his death scene in Act IV provided the turning point for the forces of hell to remain ascendant until the final apotheosis of Marguerite. …”

Mark Valentia, What’s on stage, 5.4.14

4 stars

” … The soldier Valentin may be a less prominent role but Keenlyside, whose baritone has become so heroically resonant of late. invested him with unexpected levels of nuance and depth, and his improbably protracted death scene was rendered utterly credible by the conviction of his playing.  …”

Rupert Christensen, The Telegraph, 5.4.14

4 stars

” … Although Simon Keenlyside is far too mature for Valentin – “Avant de quitter” was disappointingly shouty – he came into his own with a vividly enacted death scene. I do wish he didn’t rely so much on sturdy forte.  …”

blog, nightsatthegarden.com, 5.4.14

” … I like Simon Keenlyside.  A lot.  I think he is a very fine singer and actor.  However, I’m not entirely sure why he is singing Valentine.  Nostaglia?  Because there just doesn’t seem enough for him to do here in comparison to the rest of the cast.  Yes his aria was nicely sung and yes he also had a very good death scene – but is that enough when there are so many other roles he could be doing? Given the stellar company in which he found himself, I also found his voice less immediately ‘distinctive’ than Yoncheva, Calleja and Terfel. …”

Richard Morrison, The Times, 7.4.14

4 stars

” … As for Simon Keenlyside’s noble sung Valentin, his voice sounds right back to its heroic best. And he wins the Death Scene of the Year award for the post-duel writhing and spluttering, especially as he then gamely allows himself to be knocked around again, post mortem, in a truly weird Walpurgisnacht ballet……”

George Hall, The Guardian, 7.4.14

4 stars

” … while Simon Keenlyside is a magnificent Valentin, combining anger with self-righteousness: his death scene is chilling….”

Laura Roling, operamagazine.nl,12.4.14

“Met Joseph Calleja, Bryn Terfel, Sonya Yoncheva en Simon Keenlyside op de planken is de reprise van Gounods opera Faust bij het Royal Opera House in Londen voorzien van vocaal zwaar geschut. … De rol van Valentin was rijkelijk bezet door Simon Keenlyside, die vooral zijn slotscène ijzingwekkend gestalte gaf. …”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

wendy bulman April 6, 2014 at 12:58 am

A wonderful performance on April 4th, ‘Avant de quitter ‘ did not sound at all shouty in the Ampitheatre but warm and rich- a sentiment agreed by others around me.

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