Romes opera theatre opens its winter season with Faust by Charles Gounod (24 Jan-5 Feb), with direction, sets and costumes by Hugo De Ana. What will this acclaimed director come up with for a work that combines the sacred and the profane, and whose score ranges from the truly beautiful to the less inspired? De Ana was behind two of the most beautiful and unforgettable productions to appear in Rome in recent years: Iris by Mascagni and La fiamma by Respighi. In both, the sets were imposing and highly colourful and the direction was careful and rich in ideas; in the finale of Iris, for example, the chorus slowly turned into a sea of multicoloured flowers. The conductor of both works was Gianluigi Gelmetti. He now returns alongside De Ana and it is to be hoped that his conducting of Faust will be as attentive and heartfelt. The protagonists will be played by Giuseppe Filianoti (Faust), Darina Takova (Marguerite) and Roberto Scandiuzzi (Mphistophls), who have already appeared on stage in Rome in other acclaimed performances.