Formed in 2010 by merging the region's best opera talent into a single company, the North Carolina Opera pairs an internationally acclaimed cast with a full orchestra in its engaging, modern rendition of Gounod's Faust. Director James Marvel's innovative staging sets the stage aflicker in original video projections, which incorporate English supertitles that immerse audiences in the meaning of the French libretto. Tenor Dimitri Pittas, who has sung key roles with the Vienna State Opera and Metropolitan Opera, plays the eponymous scholar who trades his soul for the promise of youth, riches, pleasure, and unlimited soda refills offered by the devious Mephistopheles, devilishly embodied by Lyric Opera Center alumnus Christian Van Horn. The impassioned music and tragic action swirl around Mary Dunleavy as poor maiden Marguerite, who'll sing with formidable sopranic power. Meymandi Concert Hall's orchestra-level seats and warm, clear acoustics throughout afford prime views and excellent ear-views of the sweeping symphonic action.