From the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch to Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate, through Dante’s Inferno and William Blake’s depictions of Satan and an endless profusion of works in between, hell and the Devil have been a constant in Western art and culture through the centuries. In music, the fascination with the theme has proved no less fruitful. The classic German legend of the Faustian pact, in particular, has been tackled in all sorts of ways from symphonic, choral, chamber and solo works to ballet and musical theatre.

Arigo Boito
Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Méphistophélès in Opera Australia’s production of Gounod’s Faust, 2019. Photo © Jeff Busby

Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele (1868) remains one of the main operas, alongside more renowned (and more frequently performed)...