Faust Part I and II

[Faust: Der Tragödie erster und zweiter Teil]

Play by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Premiered on April 22, 2015 at the Berliner Ensemble, Berlin, Germany

Performed in German.

When Claus Peymann, Artistic Director of the Berliner Ensemble, approached Robert Wilson with the plan to commission a production of Goethe's Faust, Wilson remarked that this would be “one of the greatest challenges of [his] life.” Part Two is rarely realized on stage and much less both parts at once. This production, however, ended up containing both parts. The music is by German rock star Herbert Grönemeyer, who worked with Wilson, also at the Berliner Ensemble, on Leonce and Lena in 2003.

The Berliner Ensemble's production was not Robert Wilson's first rendering of the Faust story:

  • in 1989, he directed Doctor Faustus, an opera by Giacomo Manzoni, based on the novel by Thomas Mann, at Milan's La Scala;
  • in 1992 he did Gertrude Stein's Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights at the Hebbel Theater, another major venue in Berlin, with music by Hans-Peter Kuhn;
  • in 2008 Gounod's opera Faust premiered in Robert Wilson's direction at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw.

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