Terry Gilliam to Direct Opera Production of 'The Damnation of Faust'

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LONDON -- Filmmaker and Monty Python man Terry Gilliam is to direct an opera, signing up for a fresh take on Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust.

Gilliam will helm the production for the English National Opera with the company's chorus and orchestra providing the voices and music.

Mezzo soprano Christine Rice leads the cast under Gilliam's direction.

"Berlioz didn't play by the rules. From cartoons, to animation, to films to opera -- a good journey," Gilliam said of his latest career adventure.

Based on a translation of Goethe's poem, Berlioz's story examines the idea of temptation, and the lengths a man will go to for love.

Faust, despite his age and religious faith, is tempted by the devilish Mephistopheles, first with the promise of knowledge and youth, and then by the promise of love.

Peter Hoare will sing the role of Faust, Christopher Purves makes his role debut as Mephistopheles while Rice plays the seduced and abandoned Marguerite.

The Gilliam directed opera opens at the London Coliseum on May 6 2011 for 10 performances.