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Juan Diego Flórez as “Werther” at Opernhaus Zürich

Author: Accentus Music

Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez embodies a tortured and nuanced Werther in a stunning one-room staging by Tatjana Gürbaca.

  • Juan Diego Flórez | Copyright: © Herwig Prammer, Opernhaus Zürich

    Juan Diego Flórez © Herwig Prammer, Opernhaus Zürich

  • Werther | Copyright: © Herwig Prammer, Opernhaus Zürich

    Werther © Herwig Prammer, Opernhaus Zürich

  • Werther | Copyright: © Herwig Prammer, Opernhaus Zürich

    Werther © Herwig Prammer, Opernhaus Zürich

Forbidden love, wrongdoings and anguish: Zurich Opera House ventures into late 19th-century French romanticism with Werther, by French composer Jules Massenet. A loose adaptation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s epistolary novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther”, the opera is conducted by Germany’s Cornelius Meister. It tells the story of the impossible union of poet Werther to Charlotte, a woman of duty already promised to a wealthy businessman. In the end, despair pushes Werther to commit suicide. Only to the fatally wounded Werther does Charlotte confess her love.

Goethe’s Sturm und Drang drama is echoed in Massenet’s score by emotionally wide-ranging vocal parts written on a grand scale. Juan Diego Flórez is undisputedly one of the best belcanto tenors of our times and embodies a tortured and nuanced Werther at the Opernhaus Zürich. “It’s not a profane appearance of any singer – it is an epiphany!” gushes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in a rave review. At Flórez’s side, Franco-British mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany sang her role début as Charlotte. Says Flórez: “Werther is the masterpiece, of course. Musically, it’s beautiful, it’s gorgeous, you are transported into another dimension. It’s like a big continuous … even lust and pleasure, because of the orchestration, the singing.” The one-room staging by stage director Tatjana Gürbaca cleverly renders the social stranglehold of oppression. Should one come into the fold or escape?

Jules Massenet (1843-1912)
Werther
A lyrical drama in four acts and five scenes

A production of Accentus Music.

Recording location Opernhaus Zürich
Production Company Accentus Music
Director Michael Beyer
Conductor Cornelius Meister
Orchestra / Band Philharmonia Zürich
Soloist Juan Diego Flórez
Soloist Anna Stéphany
Composer Jules Massenet
English title of music work Werther - A lyrical drama in four acts and five scenes

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