Werther at the Opera Bastille in Paris

Photo © Maria Letizia Piantoni

Photo © Maria Letizia Piantoni


Logo_OnPOpéra Bastille from 20 January to 04 February 2016
Opening night Wednesday 20 January 2016
3h25 with 2 intervals



Drame lyrique in four acts and five scenes (1892)

MUSIC Jules Massenet
Libretto Edouard Blau Paul Milliet Georges Hartmann

After Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In French

Michel Plasson
Benoît Jacquot
Piotr Beczala
Stéphane Degout
La Bailli
Paul Gay
Rodolphe Briand
Lionel Lhote
Elīna Garanča
Elena Tsallagova
Arto Sarkissian
Pauline Texier
Set design
Charles Edwards
Costume design
Christian Gasc
Lighting design
André Diot
Charles Edwards

Paris Opera Orchestra
Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine / Paris Opera Children’s Chorus
Original production from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden London

French and English surtitles



werther13“Nothing is more moving than this combination of pain and meditation, introspection and delirium portraying the unfortunate man contemplating himself in thought and succumbing to pain; directing his imagination towards himself; strong enough to watch himself suffer and yet incapable of bringing any relief to his tormented soul.” So wrote Madame de Staël in 1800. Fourteen years later, in De l’Allemagne, she restated her admiration for Werther and “all that Goethe’s genius could produce when he was passionate.”

wertherDvd Even though more than a century separates the publication of the novel from the creation of Massenet’s operatic drama, the composer remains faithful to Goethe’s truly personal literary model and captures the palpable signs of nascent romanticism – that Sturm und Drang whose turmoil would liberate all that was intimate.

In a discreet Clair de lune, the orchestra murmurs the silent empathy of two people holding each other by the arm for fear that their hands or their hearts might touch, until finally, in a febrile outburst of fervour, the tears of Charlotte, embodied by ElĪna Garanča, release the impassioned lyricism of inevitably doomed love.

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