Running with the Devil: Faust at Lyric

Whatever assumptions you have about opera, they will be challenged by Lyric's production of The Damnation of Faust by Berlioz.  There are no fat ladies with braids like in Wagner; there are no gratuitous high notes like in Verdi.  There are few of the clichés of opera, leaving only the story and music, which, in this production, are augmented and enhanced with a visual experience of lights and video that would rival the most psychedelic Pink Floyd concert.

So don't be put off if we call it an opera. It's like an opera in many ways, but it's better to think of it as a concert that tells a story.  There is singing, but there are dance and instrumental sections in between to keep it interesting. [No, the dance is not ballet. It's more like everyday pedestrian movements but dancified.]

But don't take my word for it.  Most of the critics loved it.  Here are ALL of them that I could find.  If you find more reviews/blog posts, let me know.

"Hell, it's all about the visual!" 
Katy Walsh, Chicago Theater Blog

"its first Berlioz with multiple bangs in design, style, imagination, and spirit."
Andrew Patner, The View From Here / Sun Times

"the company is flaunting its regained theatrical mojo with a terrific new production."
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

"bombastic choruses, delicate introspection, exotic marches, and spectacular visuals"
Evan Kuchar, Chicago Critic

"while contemporary in the best sense, illuminates the ever-fascinating soul struggle that makes up the Faust trajectory."
Dennis Polkow, New City

"an excess of postmodern irony"
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

"the musical performance was outstanding, both vocally and instrumentally"
James L. Zychowicz, Music Web International

"from the moment the curtain opens on Faust at his desk in a room that hangs suspended above the Civic Opera stage like a brilliant flat-screen TV, it's irresistible."
Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader

"would probably excite a 1960's hippie, if only he could find some clean acid to drop."
"Damnation - a great story, and an even better Lyric debut. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!"
Rob Kezelis, Capitol Hill Blue

"Damnation really does have the look and feel of a movie."
Patricia Simms, Splash Magazines

"COMMANDOpera finds this production seriously SERIOUSLY cool."
COMMANDOpera

"bold, daring and devilish joyride"
Betty Mohr, Southtown Star

"But after all the hype about using technology and a modern interpretation to bring the Berlioz to stage, I was anticipating something more concrete."
karaeo.wordpress

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