October 20 at 7 p.m and October 23, 25, and 27, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Considered as Massenet’s masterwork and his most intimate opera, Werther narrates the tormented journey of a hero plagued with unhappy love in which frenzied passions and sense of duty intertwine. Drawing its inspiration from Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, this work deeply rooted in its time nonetheless finds a powerful resonance in our own.
Set in the 1780s, the work begins with Christmas carols sung by the children of the Bailli de Wetzlar in the middle of July, and ends on Christmas Eve. Since her mother’s death, the eldest daughter, Charlotte, has been taking care of her brothers and sisters. Moved by this idyllic scene and the girl’s inherent kindness, the poet Werther becomes madly in love with her: she, however, has promised her dying mother to wed Albert and is keen on keeping her promise. Werther is overwhelmed with grief. Distressed by the young man’s despair, Charlotte reads once more the letters Werther has sent her and realizes that she loves him in return. Shaken by a sudden premonition, she goes to look for him and finds him mortally wounded. She confesses her love to him but it is too late: he dies in her arms, while in the distance Christmas carols are heard
Orchestre symphonique de Québec
Production: Opéra national de Lorraine (France)
Sung in the original French with French surtitles