Werther – Massenet

Michel Plasson, Benoît Jacquot – Jonas Kaufmann (Werther), Sophie Koch (Charlotte)

In Massenet's masterpiece, based on Goethe's Sorrows of the Young Werther, tears never cease to flow from the very moment the moonlit set is revealed and closed. "My whole being cries at it" says Werther. We are a long way from opera's usual tears, be they furtive or violent. These tears flow slowly and inexorably, one by one. Patient tears as Charlotte puts it.

In the space of four acts, they will have done their work. Charlotte cannot hold the tears back as she rereads Werther's letters. They will flow in front of Sophie, the angel of consolation. They will flow when Werther reads Ossian. And finally they will flow at the sight of Werther's blood-soaked body. Yet Werther refuses these last tears: for now he is happy and free. Werther is a long requiem, lacrimosa dies illa, a tearful day if ever there was. A requiem for a young poet ending in paradisum. For Werther, of course, could only be a poet: that is to say, above the world, yet nevertheless enslaved to it. Death hovers above him, and Massenet marked his song with the sign, evoked by Rilke in his Sonnets to Orpheus, of those who are to die young.

© Opéra national de Paris


Diapason d'or de l'année 2011

In the press:

"A pure Werther"
Éric Dahan, Libération

Linked event :

Benoît Jacquot stage director

Jonas Kaufmann (Werther)
Sophie Koch (Charlotte)
Ludovic Tézier (Albert)
Anne-Catherine Gillet (Sophie)
Alain Vernhes (Le Bailli)
Andreas Jaggi (Schmidt)
Christian Tréguier (Johann)
Alexandre Duhamel (Bruhlmann)
Olivia Doray (Kätchen)

Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris
Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine
Michel Plasson conductor

Duration : 02 h 41 min
Production date : 2010
Production : © Idéale Audience – Opéra national de Paris – ARTE France
Available version(s) : FR ST EN, FR ST FR

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