Critics Say

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For Parents

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Go for sexy Relyea performance and lovely Graham

By Scrabberif
Written November 26, 2008
Strengths: Story enriched by excellent staging, special effects, hi-tech scenery; Music wonderfully played, Berlioz (composer) is easy on the ears; Relyea (Mephistopholes) is 100% in his singing, characterization, and achieves success as a seductive bad guy; Graham (Marguerite) is 100% in her singing and performance, and while she is charming in her role, her physique is at odds visually, but her confidence and comfort with herself won me over; Giordani (Faust) plays the bored, depressed old man well in the beginning, and 100% as the broken man near the end, but as a love interest he was totally unconvincing in his appeal and enthusiasm. I plan on bringing my kids for the outstanding sets, enjoyable music, Relyea top to bottom, Graham's voice and performance, and the munchies.
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You should go

By MrB920
Written November 25, 2008
Back stage between acts most excellent. Better than at the Met - close-ups of artists add to the performance
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Excellent opera, just a few nit-picks

By hodapp2
Written December 07, 2008
The opera was well sung, I loved the leads, the costuming, and the sound was fine. Nit-picks: the camera work and the Cirque de Soleil inspired stage doesn't work so well in the movie theater. I felt a lot of stuff was just thrown in with no thought to whether it worked or not, just that it looked cool. Wall walkers! Digital Projections! The second act, where this all seemed toned down, was better. This staging might have worked better in person. On screen, nothing beats a simple full-stage medium shot, or a close-up of a lead. Also, nothing against the fine people who work at the Del Monte movie theater, but do you need to blast commercials containing heavy metal and rap to an opera crowd? After many minutes, we finally got the guy to turn down the volume, but this is not a crowd who is likely to Do the Dew after 2 minutes of thrash music. For the money we are paying, I would hope the commercials could be cut before future operas, or at least silenced.
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la damnation de faust

By moviecircus
Written December 08, 2008
the opera live is of course much better< but seeing this in San Francisco was a treat to see the picnics people brought to the theatre. as well as the seating (better view and less costly). I loved the sound of the orchestra tuning as you entered the theatre.
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La Damnation de Faust Berlioz

By Janice Coleman
Written December 07, 2008
Exceptional production! Marguerite and Mephistopheles were particularly well done roles... singing and acting. Orchestra sounded wonderful.
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