John Wegner

1998 Mephistopheles Crits


John Wegner - “Mephistopheles” in Faust - Brisbane, May 1998

Faust - Lyric Theatre, Brisbane - May 1998

Faust                  Patrick Power
Mephistopheles John Wegner
Marguerite         Deborah Riedel
Conductor          Richard Divall
Director              Ian Judge

The Australian 19/5/98
“A sizzler, and only the devil to pay”
by Malcolm Gillies

Wow! Brisbane rarely gets it this good. Last week’s Fledermaus was a fine production, but this week’s Faust is in a league of its own. The co-production with Opera Australia and English National Opera was simply magnificent.
This production sizzles with sexual tension, and glides pneumatically from one beautifully symbolic set to the next. It uses the full extent of the stage to great dramatic effect, leaving the audience with a fully three-dimensional immediacy.
John Wegner has forged a superbly devilish Mephistopheles. His vocal and acting talent are of equal measure: a big, penetrating voice full of demonic colour, and a lithe stage presence with nothing of the opera singer’s traditional woodenness of gesture.
Act 1V’s church scene saw these two principals (Wegner and Riedel) in most powerful culmination as Mephistopheles goads Marguerite through sheer terror into insanity.
... Wegner and Riedel were the strongest voices of the evening.

In Deutsch: John Wegner gestaltete einen hervorragenden teuflischen Mephisto. Seine stimmlichen, sowie schauspielerischen Talente sind gleichrangig: eine große durchdringende Stimme voller dämonischer Färbung gekoppelt mit einer geschmeidigen Bühnenpräsenz, die in keinster Weise dem Cliché des traditionellen hölzernen Opernsängers entsprach.

Akt 4 in der Kirchenszene, sah diese zwei Hauptdarsteller auf dem Höhepunkt ihres Zusammenspiels, als Mephisto Margarethe durch blanken Terror bis zum Wahnsinn treibt. ....Wegner und Riedel waren die stärksten Stimmen des Abends.

The Courier-Mail 18/5/98
‘Faust proves feast for opera lovers’ by David Bray
John Wegner is a wicked, leering and powerful Mephistopheles.

Gold Coast Bulletin
‘First Class Faust’ 20/5/98
by Ruth Gurner
Once Mephistopheles (John Wegner) towered from the tabletops in ‘Le Veaux d’Or’, he took control, directing Faust’s every move, manipulating events with a charming menance.

Sunshine Coast Daily 19/5/98
John Wegner’s
brilliantly sung Mephistopheles was to my eyes a combination of Boris Karloff and a professional conjuror.