Gounod's 1859 opera, staged here to commemorate Welsh National Opera's 50th anniversary, is only nominally about its anti-hero, who sells his soul to the devil, Mephistopheles. Its real subject obsessed well-to-do Parisians of its day: that of the 'Fallen Woman'. It was a prurient society, fixated with sex; convinced that every woman had her price; awash with prostitution and disease; suffused in male sexual hypocrisy. This was the time of Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal, Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Zola's Nana; and of the paintings of prostitution by artists like Manet and Degas. These Traviata-like themes, that permeate the opera, are picked up in its interval entertainment, "Fallen Angels."