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  • Pamela Froman

Faust

Opera has become ensnared with the Twilight Zone as the Valley Opera & Performing Arts launches 2020 with Johann Goethe's masterful story of Faust.


Faust is an opera by the French composer, Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carre from Carre's play Faust et Marguerite which in turn is loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part One.


Faust is an aging scholar and a man who is desperately seeking the ecstasy and ardor of youth. The devil appears before him and offers him a deal – sell his soul and become his servant and he can stay young and virile as well as gain the affections of the innocent and beautiful Marguerite.


Faust chooses to sell his soul to the devil to gain all his desires and he is magically transformed into a handsome young gentleman.


Marguerite's brother Valentin is leaving for war so he entrusts the care of his sister to his youthful friend Siebel, who is also enamored with her. But Marguerite succumbs to the seduction of Faust and he impregnates her and then abandons her.


Valentin then challenges Faust because of the debasement of his sister, and while Faust is reluctant to hurt him, he is assisted by the devil to create a fatal thrust. With his dying breath Valentin curses his sister and condemns her to Hell.


In the story, the devil uses Faust as his pawn as he attempts to corrupt Marguerite. Can she escape from his evil clutches and Faust's love and eventual abandonment? Will she be able to resist the darkness that desires her?


And don’t adjust your screens... this is LIVE theater in black and white! Inspired by the iconic 1960s black and white tv show, “The Twilight Zone”, Director and Set Designer Dylan F. Thomas has created a live theater experience like no other! The makeup and staging reflect this homage and it even has the famous voiceover before the opera begins!


John Kun Park plays the titular character of Faust, with a strong and and stunning tenor voice. He reflects the emotional and desperation of his role with a fervent blend of power and strength as he moves with force across the stage.


Patrick Blackwell plays the insidious and evil devil, who dangles the seduction of youth with his amazing vocals. Patrick sings regularly with Los Angeles Opera. This is his fifth season with the Company.


Adrien Roberts has returned to the role of Marguerite. She projects her sweetness and innocence as she is seduced by Faust and has a downward spiral of a child out of wedlock that tests her faith.


Gabriel Manro stars as Valentin. He has been described as a knock-down baritone. He regularly sings dramatic roles and has received multiple Grammy awards.


As Siebel, mezzo-soprano Karin Wilcox brings a sweetness to her role. Karin is a District Winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has sung with Opera Theatre of the Rockies.


The production also features two dancers that explain the evolving story of Faust and Marguerite through gorgeous dance. Janina Salna is lifted through the air as she expresses her role, while her partner Michael Mantone projects emotion and strength.


Valley Opera and Performing Arts (VOPA) offers incredible productions. They encompass opera, musical theatre, jazz and even rock 'n' roll. They are committed to filling the need for classical vocal arts in the community. Come out and enjoy their beautiful music.


For more information and to purchase tickets to performances by VOPA call (818) 324-6415 and log onto www.voparts.org

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