Joyce DiDonato, Vittorio Grigòlo and members of the cast and creative team share their thoughts on what makes this French opera a masterpiece.
Werther loves Charlotte, but she promised her mother on her deathbed that she would marry Albert. After the marriage Charlotte suggests that Werther should travel – but not forget her.
Jules Massenet began thinking about making an opera from Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (1774; The Sorrows of Young Werther) as early as 1880, before he started work on Manon – though in his memoirs he claimed inspiration came in 1886 during a visit to Bayreuth to see Wagner’s Parsifal. He began the score in 1885 and finished it in 1887, but Werther’s premiere did not come until 1892, when the Vienna Hofoper requested another Massenet work after the success of the local premiere of Manon. It has been a permanent part of the international repertory since 1903. Werther and Manon have proved Massenet’s most enduringly popular works.
The Royal Opera
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- The Royal Opera
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To find out more visit the Werther (2016) production page.