Andrej Dunaev (Werther), Sarah Ferede (Charlotte) | © Matthias Jung
Jules Massenet
Theater Duisburg
Saturday, 20. December 2014
19:30 - 22:00 hours

Duration: approx. 2 ½ hours, one interval
18,10 - 62,80 € Abo. K
Duration: approx. 2 ½ hours, one interval
When Johann Wolfgang Goethe‘s ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ was presented at the 1774 Leipzig Book Fair, the work made its author famous overnight – even though many bourgeois readers regarded Werther as a trouble-maker who rejected their moral and religious values. That a human being could allow his depression full rein and consequently put an end to his life was unthinkable.

In France Goethe’s epistolary novel was not circulated widely even though a number of translations were produced soon after its publication. It was not until the 1780s that that the French perceived the emotions of a Werther weary of both love and life to be part of their own discontent with the world. The first operas based on Goethe’s ‘Werther’ were composed in France and Italy in 1792 and 1802 – albeit with little success, for which the subject matter was blamed. Then musical interest in the material declined until Jules Massenet (1842–1912) discovered the novel for himself: “Such stormy and ecstatic passion brought tears to my eyes. What moving scenes, what powerful moments it can provide! Werther was it!” he noted in ‘Mes souvenirs’. Nevertheless even at the end of the 19th century the director of the Paris Opéra still felt the plot was too depressing for his audience. Only after the triumphant world premiere on 16th February 1892 in Vienna was he convinced and in 1893 ‘Werther’ was an unparalleled success in Paris. The way in which Massenet captures Werther’s love for Charlotte, who is already promised to another man, he probes the relationships between the individual characters psychologically and draws the audience into the drama with his sensually glowing music is extraordinary.

Following the premiere of Joan Anton Rechi‘s ‘Werther’ production at the Opernhaus Düsseldorf in the 2013/14 season, this production can now be seen on the stage of the Theater Duisburg.
Jules Massenet

Opera in four acts
Libretto by Edouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann

In French with German surtitles

Musikalische Leitung Lukas Beikircher
Inszenierung Joan Anton Rechi
Bühne Alfons Flores
Kostüme Sebastian Ellrich
Licht Volker Weinhart
Leitung Kinderchor Sabina López Miguez
Dramaturgie Bernhard F. Loges
Spielleitung Esther Mertel
Werther Andrej Dunaev
Albert Richard Sveda
Le Bailli Günes Gürle
Schmidt Bruce Rankin
Johann Bruno Balmelli
Brühlmann Dogus Güney
Charlotte Katarzyna Kuncio
Sophie Elena Sancho Pereg
Käthchen Maria Popa
Werthers Schatten Joeri Burger
Chor Kinderchor am Rhein
Orchester Duisburger Philharmoniker


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