Mefistofele is the only opera that the Italian composer and librettist Arrigo Boito succeeded in completing.
It was first performed at La Scala in Milan in 1868, but the version that is normally staged today is the one that Boito prepared for the Teatro Comunale in Bologna where it was performed with great success in 1875. Among the most important changes is the change in the vocal scoring of the character of Faust, initially written for a baritone but rescored for a tenor voice in the definitive version.

The opera soon gained international success, and since the London and New York performances of 1880, Mefistofele has been, together with Gounod's Faust, the most famous musical translation of Goethe's drama.

With its 3,500 seats the Teatro Massimo in Palermo is one of the greatest opera houses in the world. Its architecture is in neo-classical style and it was built at the end of the nineteenth century.

The performance at the Teatro Massimo features artists of the highest standing: the bass Ferruccio Furlanetto is one of the most celebrated singers of the last thirty years and appears in the greatest theatres and festivals all over the world (Staastoper in Vienna, Metropolitan in New York, Salzburg Festival, the Paris Opéra); alongside him we find a young but already well-known tenor Giuseppe Filianoti, one of the most beautiful voices of his generation, and the Greek soprano Dimitra Theodossiou an artist of international calibre with great vocal and performance talents.

The direction of the opera is entrusted to the great experience of Giancarlo Del Monaco son of the famous tenor, who has been active in the theatre for over forty years.

Boito's Mefistofele is an opera that nowadays is rarely performed.

"Ferruccio Furlanetto managed to suggest, through both voice and gesture, the inner torment
and psychological complexity of a fallen angel. ..Throughout the opera Furlanetto proved a fascinating,
charismatic presence, as masterly in silence as in song, in stillness as in movement,
making every gesture tell. " S. Hastings Opera News.


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  • Mefistofele - Ferrucio Furlanetto (bass); Faust - Giuseppe Filianoti (tenor); Margherita and Helen of Troy - Dimitra Theodossiou (soprano); Marta - Sonia Zaramella (mezzo); Pantalis - Monica Minarelli (mezzo)

  • Chorus, Orchestra and Corps de Ballet of Teatro Massimo

  • Stefano Ranzani - Giancarlo del Monaco

  • Mefistofele an opera in a prologue, four acts and an epilogue, the only completed opera with music by the Italian composer-librettist Arrigo Boito

  • Arrigo Boito

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  • Massimo Theatre. Palermo