Friday, January 16, 2009

Vive la Faust

Okay so I gotta say that Canadian Robert Lepage is a bit of a frikkin' star and I am not ashamed to say that I am jealous of his talent. That's right, I wish I had that kind of talent.

What he's done with Faust at the Met is nothing short of genius. I'm not an opera fan but I'm a fan of the play, which I studied in my Renaissance English class back in the university days. You know the one, it's the story of the guy who sells his soul to el diablo in exchange for the knowledge of necromancy. The play with Mephistopheles who's famous for saying things like

"Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.
Think'st thou that I, who saw the face of God,
And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells
In being deprived of everlasting bliss?"

because he really teed the lord off, who cast him out. He regrets doing what he did but it's now his job to recruit new souls and seeing as how Faust is a miserable old curmudgeon who tries to commit the sin of suicide, he's ripe for the pickin'.

Anyways...great play that is proceeded by a great story and someone named Berlioz wrote an opera about it. So I went to the opera. Just because of Marlowe's version. There's a great picture of Marlowe here. I should be more specific and say that I didn't go to the opera, I went to the live HD broadcast OF the opera because I don't live in NY and even if I did I would never get tickets because I'm sure that sold out long before I even heard it was happening. Why do I think that? Because the HD broadcast of the show sold out so fast they added a second theatre. I've never seen so many geriatrics in one place. Not even in a retirement home.

Anyways...let's get back to why I was blogging about this in the first place. Robert Lepage. You might know him from Cirque du Soleil, our most creative export ever. He designed one of the best interactive experiences I've ever seen. The technology he used allowed the singers’ motion and voices to trigger and affect video projected onto the stage. So when the music swells, the video is instantly changed. He used layers of projections and screens to create a 3D effect, which is pretty ingenious considering it's already in 3D. Imagine a giant scaffold and at the top is a rowboat and when someone falls into the "water" below, which is projected, it triggers an entire underwater experience live on stage. Using silhouettes of galloping horses and unlit actors on wires he was able to float a dozen horses and their jockeys above the stage. Just the scaffold itself was brilliant. At one point you actually experience a complete mind freak when the x and y axis of your field of vision are morphed. I can't even describe this without spending too much time on it and I'll not do it justice otherwise. Just know that it's quintessential Cirque du Soleil but without the lady singing in that fake language they use, which was cool once but y'all can cut it out now. Enough with the la fluuuutillle de nexxoooos bonnnapooo shannnaa shannnna. We get it. You're global. You're cross-cultural. Enough.

But that is an aside.

So look if you missed the Met Faust on HD you can see it again. TOMORROW. Saturday
January 17, 2009. 1:00 PM (EST). Look, I'm not telling you what to do but if you miss that you're a complete twatter. Just go to and get a ticket if you still can. Go. Trust me. Read more about it here if you're a geek. Go geek go.

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