Music: Faust First

Mephistopheles turned up in evening dress and top hat, instead of red tights. Marguerite did her hair in a high topknot instead of braids. Faust was a bumbling, bourgeois scholar working in a 19th century library (with high shelves and a stepladder) instead of a bare Gothic study. Otherwise, Gounod's Faust was Gounod's Faust, and an old-reliable choice for the Metropolitan Opera's opening night this week.

Back to conduct, after an absence of 34 years, was 78-year-old Pierre Monteux, who will head the Met's French wing (Faust, Pélleas et Mèlisande, Carmen) this season....

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