A Faustian Bargain

My dream. I've been entrusted to do an English version of an opera about Faust. I am in Bayreuth, but this is not an opera by Wagner, only someone very much like him.

In the night, I sort the papers, the ms. pages, and one of the scenes is missing, The scene is set in a church or a chapel and has Margaret in it, in a white dress with a cap looking very much like someone in the period of the Salem witch trials.

I'm sitting in a large office with a rickety wood-plank floor — an old building — with a computer.I search the files over and over. They are in glossy black folders with the scene numbers written in white ink, the numbers in a continental handwriting, i.e. the one has a big upstroke.

Now I am in the street outside the opera house. I meet a large, fat German who is NOT Wolfgang Wagner (but reminds me of him.) I explain my problem and ask for a printed copy to help me find the scene. He is annoyed and I say "No, no, I just need to know where the scene falls in the context because the files are all out of order."

He enters a doorway into a brick townhouse that is to the right of the opera and I think, "Just like Wolfgang ... he has a secret way into his own private apartments just by the opera" … and he emerges with what I DON'T need, a printed edition of FAUST. I easily find the scene leafing through the paperback but that's not what I really need.

I find myself on an upper balcony talking to a young singer with red curly hair and freckles. He looks say, half Irish, half African. It's a very exotic look and the odd thing is that this guy, a tenor, is Thai. He is speaking to me in Thai. He's performing in this production.

"I'm nervous about it," he says, and seems to need a hug. Then he says, "I'm not nervous anymore. Usually I only get performance anxiety when I'm away from Thailand, but luckily I am home now."

But I am thinking … wait a minute. We're in Germany. Just then, I wake up.