WERTHER, one of French composer Massenet’s finest works, is to be staged in Scotland for the first time since 1986. Composed in 1892, the opera perfectly encapsulates the late 19th century take on the inevitable heartbreak that comes with obsessive love
Werther has escaped the city to concentrate on his painting. He finds himself in a rural idyll that offers all the inspiration he could ever desire, including a perfect muse in the local beauty Charlotte. But she is promised to another man, one who seems to be everything Werther is not. As Werther’s infatuation grows, he is driven to ask himself the ultimate question: what is life without her?
Director, Pia Furtado, sets this new production at the start of the 20th century, unveiling an intimate study of one man’s hopes and dreams as she tells the story from the perspective of the young Romantic, Werther himself.
Through her trademark theatrical style, Furtado accentuates the heightened emotions of the piece, bringing to life a story that is a timeless testament to the destructive power of obsession.
Through a superlatively expressive score, Massenet reveals the magnetism of the tale which is based on the German epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. Scottish Opera’s music director, Francesco Corti, who will conduct The Orchestra of Scottish Opera said: “Massenet’s passionate music is intoxicating. He subtly conveys every possible emotion: from Charlotte’s tortured conflict to Werther’s unstable passion, melancholy and increasing hysteria.”
Linbury Prize-winner, Helen Goddard, joins the production as designer, with lighting design in the hands of Oliver Fenwick.
Hungarian mezzo, Viktoria Vizin, renowned the world over for her Carmen, sings the role of Charlotte for the first time, and acclaimed American tenor, Jonathan Boyd, takes on the role of Werther.
Up and coming soprano, Anna Devin, arrives fresh from the Royal Opera House’s Young Artists Programme to sing the role of Sophie. Baritones, Roland Wood and Jonathan Best, sing the roles of Albert and Le Bailli, respectively.
And Scottish Opera veterans, Harry Nicoll and Jonathan May. join the cast as Schmidt and Johann.
Charlotte – Viktoria Vizin
Sophie – Anna Devin
Werther – Jonathan Boyd
Albert – Roland Wood
Le Bailli – Jonathan Best
Schmidt – Harry Nicoll
Johann – Jonathan May
Conductor – Francesco Corti
Director – Pia Furtado
Designer – Helen Goddard
Lighting Desginer – Oliver Fenwick
Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Fri 15 Feb 7.15pm
Sun 17 Feb 7.15pm*
Wed 20 Feb 7.15pm
Sat 23 Feb 4pm+
Tue 19 Feb 6pm
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Tue 26 Feb 7.15pm
Thu 28 Feb 7.15pm+
Sat 2 Mar 7.15pm*
Wed 27 Feb 6pm
Running Time approximately 2 hrs 40 mins
Sung in French with English supertitles
+Audio-described performance/Touch Tour
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