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Burning for Faust

HGO's Mefistofele brings Hades to light

These hokey juxtapositions are flimsy substitutes for the genuine period realism producers eschew these days. But since Ramey, Racette and the chorus have their virtuosic moments, the scenic hodgepodge doesn't detract from an enjoyable show. Opera demands a lot of audiences, most of whom rely on surtitles. Why it's asking too much to be faithful to a single era or none at all is befuddling.

Houston Grand Opera performs Mefistofele in Italian with English surtitles at the Wortham Theater Center's Brown Theater on Saturday, May 8, Tuesday, May 11, Friday, May 14, and Sunday, May 16. Tickets are $26 to $176, sold to nonsubscribers when a ticket to Resurrection is also purchased as part of a two-show package. Call (713)227-

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