The opera Faust by the French composer Charles Gounod (composer of Ave Maria), initially rejected by the Paris Opera and a critical and commercial flop when it was first premièred at the Théâtre Lyrique in 1859, underwent a drastic change in fortunes when 10 years later it was revived by the Paris Opera. With the insertion of a ballet, it went on to become the company’s most frequently performed opera and a staple of their international repertory for many decades following. It has been translated into over 25 languages and, whilst not as widely performed as in the past, remains the 35th most-performed opera worldwide and by 2008 the 8th most frequently performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera where a new production will open in 2013.
The book in the photographs is an English and Italian translation published by Boosey & Co.
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