West Side Story Profile

 Faust - ballet

Charles Gounod (1818-1893)
(arr: Dan Godfrey)

French-born Gounod remains famous for some notable sacred works, including the Ave Maria he worked on Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C Major and St Cecilia’s Solemn Mass. He is also renowned for his five-act opera Faust premiered in 1859 that tells the tale of an ageing scholar who returns to youth. The powers of love and the supernatural then ensue. The opera was revived in 1862 but it was not before 1869 and the insertion of the ballet in Act V that it was premiered at the Paris Opera. This ballet contains seven movements, namely: Waltz for the Ballet Corpse, Helen and her Trojan Maidens and Cleopatra and her Nubian Slaves, Entry of the Nubian Slaves, Dance of Cleopatra, Entry of the Trojan Maidens, Dance of Helen and Bacchanale and Entry of Phryne.

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