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It is obvious from his pact with Mephistopheles that Faust has completely abandoned his belief in God and in the world to come.
Mephistopheles mocks her and then pronounces a curse upon her, causing her to faint with a wild shriek.
Mephistopheles highlights the issue of agency when he answers Faustus's question, "Did not my conjuring speeches raise thee?
Mephistopheles appeared as an enormous horned goat skull, the two halves of which parted to reveal the urbane and affable devil, wearing beautiful Jacobean doublet and a cardinal's red skull cap (design was by Paul Wills).
Mephistopheles, on the other hand, represents the spirit of "denial," the negative side of creation.
The role of Mephistopheles, the demon who tempts Faustus to make a pact with the Devil in return for wealth and power, is one she is relishing.
It isn't long before Faustus has doubts about the bargain, but Mephistopheles has plenty of entertainment at hand to distract Faustus from the terrifying reality of his position and the prospect of its agonizing conclusion.
Over the centuries the devil has had many names, including Beelzebub (Lord of the Flies), the Deuce, the Great Deceiver, Mephistopheles, the Father of Lies, the Prince of Darkness, Old Nick, Old Mr Grim, Old Scratch, Old Splitfoot, the Black Spy, the Gentleman in Black, El Diablo and Bogey.
Though Sokurov bridles at the inference that Mauricius is the devil, insisting that he is not Goethe's Mephistopheles but a more ambiguous figure of evil, the sallow-fleshed creature who swills hemlock with little ill effect and weighs souls on his scales certainly wields the same dark powers as Goethe's Mephisto.
Bass-baritone John Relyeas vocally and visually dashing Mephistopheles ran the gamut of emotion from seductiveness to irony and cynicism.
Not since a school production in Wolverhampton, in fact, when Mephistopheles fell off the stage in the second act.
The opera's biggest dramatic role is Mephistopheles and Mark Saberton did not disappoint as the panto villain of the piece.