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Florence, at the Maggio Musicale Doktor Faust, the latest opera by Ferruccio Busoni, is staged
The new production is signed by Davide Livermore, on the podium Cornelius Meister; Dietrich Henschel will play Faust, Daniel Brenna plays Mephistopheles
Organized by: Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Foundation

Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Foundation Presents

“ May Carnival Festival – dedicated to Faust and Goethe ”
The Carnival Festival of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, dedicated to the myth of Faust and Goethe, from 7 to 21 February 2023 stages a relevant thematic title, Doctor Faust, last work of Ferruccio Busoni.

Like many other artists, too Busoni (Empoli 1866 – Berlin 1924) was fascinated by the myth of Faust and wanted to make him the protagonist of a work that he intended as his masterpiece. He personally wrote the libretto, in German, and the composition of the Doctor Faust he devoted himself for over a decade, but was unable to finish the work, which remained unfinished at his death in July 1924. Completed later by his pupil and collaborator Philipp Jarnach, Doktor Faust premiered at the Dresden Staatsoper in May 1925, while the Italian premiere it took place right at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino on May 28 1942 under the direction of Fernando Previtali. Restaged in 1964, the opera has never returned to the Florentine stage since then.

The new production is entrusted to the direction of Davide Livermore, with scenes from Gio Forma, the costumes of Mariana Fracasso, the lights of Fiametta Baldiserri, the videos of D-Wok. On the podium he will go up Cornelius Meister, 42-year-old Music Director of the Stuttgart State Opera, awarded the Gramophone Award 2022 in the 'Contemporary' category and the Opus Klassik prize as best conductor of the year. Protagonists on stage, Dietrich Henschel in the title role and Daniel Brenna in that of Mephistopheles; in the other main parts they will try their hand Olga Bezsmertna, the Duchess of Parma, Joseph Dahdah, the Duke of Parma/ The girl's brother, Wilhelm Schwinghammer, Wagner / the Master of Ceremonies; Choir Master is Lorenzo Fratini.

For the drafting of the booklet - deeming it impossible to make a direct comparison with the most illustrious literary source, il Faust of Goethe – Ferruccio Busoni preferred to examine several sources for drafting the libretto including traditional German puppet shows, the drama The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, obviously without forgetting the great Goethe. Thus was born a work with a highly symbolic value also accentuated by the formal arc articulation used, which includes an initial symphony, two recited interventions, two prologues, a scenic interlude and three paintings. The central episode, which sees Faust in the guise of a magician at the court of Parma during the celebrations for the wedding of the duke and the duchess, is in fact surrounded by the other episodes which, as antecedents or precedents, are placed in a specular way according to analogies and symbolic references and musical. Without denying the lesson of the past, Busoni adopts a multifaceted writing that equally combines dissonances, diatonic and chromatic scales, counterpoint, Renaissance dances and opera arias.

(In the images, Ferruccio Busoni in 1916; Cornelius Meister, photocredit ©Matthias Baus)  


Thanks to the CR Firenze Foundation, the performance on 02/11/2023 is offered to the public with a 50% discount on the price of tickets for each sector.

  The performance of 14 February 2023 will be broadcast live on Rai Radio 3.
Florence, at the Maggio Musicale Doktor Faust, the latest opera by Ferruccio Busoni, is staged


Concert master and conductor
Cornelius Meister

Direction Davide Livermore
Scenes Giò Forma
Lights Fiammetta Baldiserri
Costumes Mariana Fracasso
Video D-Wok

Chorus and Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Choir Master Lorenzo Fratini

Main interpreters

Doctor Faust
Dietrich Henschel
Wagner/Der Zeremonienmeister
Wilhelm Schwinghammer
Daniel Brenna
Herzog von Parma/Des Mädchens Bruder
Joseph Dahdah
Herzogin von Parma
Olga Bezsmertna

New layout


Ferruccio Busoni

Doctor Faust

Opera in three scenes, two prologues and an interlude


7 February 2023 “before”

performances 11 (18), 14 (20) and 21 (20) February

Who organizes

Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino FoundationIt is one of the 14 Foundations… more

Read More


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