WERTHER
Revivals

WERTHER
Jules Massenet
1842 - 1912
Lyric drama in four acts (five scenes)
Libretto by Edouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann after the novel The sufferings of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
World premiere February 16th 1892, Court Opera, Vienna

Sung in french with german surtitles

Duration: c. 2hrs. 30 mins. with one interval

About the Piece

Dream! Ecstasy! Bliss! – Werther retreats into a dream world of poetry in his constant search for powerful emotions. Charlotte, i ...
Dream! Ecstasy! Bliss! – Werther retreats into a dream world of poetry in his constant search for powerful emotions. Charlotte, in whom he sees an angel, virgin and mother, seems to embody everything he longs for. But she is not strong enough to fight against the restraints of day to day life, and her duty. Charlotte marries Albert, as her dead mother had wished, and surpresses her feelings until Werther tries to break all boundaries by committing suicide. Massenet’s heart-breaking opera, and this sensitive Willy Decker production, is not only about Werther. Unlike Goethe’s novel, written in letter form, Charlotte, Albert and Sophie gain autonomy, vividness and depth of character. And while Goethe’s Werther places the influence of poetry on life in the foreground, Massenet’s lyrical opera is about the power of music: Werther and Charlotte dance, falling in love, removed from reality, to the rhythm of a waltz. The spoken word, announcing Albert’s return for example, are disturbing factors that interrupt this musically generated world of dreams.

Synopsis

The Bailli is trying to teach his children a carol. Johann and Schmidt ask him to come for a drink but he can't because his daught ...
The Bailli is trying to teach his children a carol. Johann and Schmidt ask him to come for a drink but he can't because his daughter Charlotte is going to a ball with Werther because her fiancé, Albert, is away. Albert returns unexpectedly. He asks Sophie to keep his return a secret. Charlotte and Werther return from the ball, they find it difficult to part. She hears that Albert is back and tells Werther that she promised her dying mother that she would marry him. Horrified, Werther says that she must keep her oath, even though it will kill him. 3 months later. Werther sees Charlotte and Abert going to church. He is obsessed by his love and by the hopelessness of his position. Albert feels guilty that he so happy when Werther is so sad. Werther again professes his love to Charlotte, who tells him he must leave and not see her again, but then relents, saying he may visit at Christmas. Albert realises that Werther is still in love with his wife. Christmas. Charlotte, reading Werther’s letters, realises that she loves him. She begs God to protect her from herself and Werther. He begs her againto admit her love for him but she orders him to go. Albert comes home, senses the tense atmosphere. A servant brings word from Werther announcing his immediate departure and asking for the loan of a pistol. Albert orders Charlotte to give it to the messenger. Driven by foreboding she hurries off. Werther has shot himself. Charlotte arrives. He begs her not to call for help. She confesses that she has loved him from the first moment and grants him their first, and last kiss.
Performances

Friday 17.01.2014 19:30 h

Further performances

Opera House
Subscription: series 22

Pre-booking and Pricing

Cast

Conductor
Maurizio Barbacini
Director
Willy Decker
Assistant for the Revival
Alan Barnes
Set and Costume Designer
Wolfgang Gussmann
Lighting Designer
Joachim Klein
Children Chorus Master
Markus Ehmann

Werther
John Osborn
Charlotte
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Sophie
Sofia Fomina
Albert
Daniel Schmutzhard
Johann
Florian Plock
Le Bailli
Franz Mayer
Schmidt
Michael Porter *
Brühlmann
Konstantin Neiconi
Kätchen
Maria Pantiukhova *

Children Chorus and Orchestra
of Oper Frankfurt



* member of the Opera Studio

 
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