28 June 2016 at 3.22pm | 4 Comments
The American mezzo-soprano is currently performing on the Covent Garden stage in the role of Charlotte, a young girl who makes a promise to her mother on her deathbed that she will marry a man named Albert.
A decision, Joyce believes, she would be happy to stick with until her life is turned upside-down by the arrival of a romantic young poet:
'She's very practical, and she's not bitter about anything; it's a normal existence and it's fine,' she explains. 'And then this hurricane, Werther, arrives in this small town and I think he unlocks this world to her that sincerely she didn't even know existed.'
It's love at first sight as soon as Werther, sung by Vittorio Grigòlo, arrives on the scene. The blossoming romance between them creates a devastating dilemma for Charlotte: should she choose between life as she knows it, or her newfound feelings of passion?
Director Benoît Jacquot explains the appeal of this mysterious character: 'He's a poet and he's always dreaming: dreaming of the world, dreaming of Charlotte. He is in a dream - becoming a nightmare.'
It's this tragic conflict that Massenet uses to his advantage in his music.
'Massenet has tried to capture a dark palette for this music, certainly orchestrally speaking,' Music Director of The Royal Opera Antonio Pappano says, 'but it also has limpid, and lovely lyric moments. The way they're done could only be written by a French composer.'
'It needs this passion of the top coming off the volcano,' Joyce adds. 'It feels like life and death on the stage.'
Werther runs until 13 July 2016. Tickets are still available.
The production is generously sponsored by BB Energy and is given with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, The Taylor Family Foundation, Susan and John Singer, Spindrift Al Swaidi and the Maestro’s Circle.