A committed Catholic, it's perhaps unsurprising that Charles Gounod was drawn to the religious themes that informed his most successful opera. Based on a French play that was in turn based on Goethe's literary tragedy, Gounod's five-act 1859 opera charts the consequences of striking a deal with the devil. Beyond its ever-relevant subject matter, the work has some interesting quirks. Ten years after its premiere, Gounod had to create a ballet scene, so that 'Faust' could be performed at the Paris Opéra, and the resulting addition is now often performed independently. Before that, however, it had enjoyed a successful run in Dresden under the title 'Margarethe', possibly to differentiate it from Louis Spohr's 1816 version of 'Faust'. Gounod's work continued to be staged as 'Margarethe', or its' German diminutive 'Gretchen' in Germany for some time.