French film director Benoît Jaquot’s stylish production of Werther returns to the Covent Garden stage for the first time since its opening in 2004. The title role of Werther, the epitome of the despairing Romantic poet, is sung by star tenor Rolando Villazón.

Based on Goethe’s novel Die Leiden des jungen Werthers, written in 1774, Massenet’s opera is intense in its portrayal of unrequited love and dashed hopes. The opera is atmospheric and poignant, with a host of glorious melodies.

Werther, a young poet, has fallen in love with Charlotte. However, she is betrothed to another. As Werther’s enduring love consumes him, his despair that Charlotte can never be his leads to tragedy.

The role of the ill-fated Werther is sung by Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón. French mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch sings the role of Charlotte, with Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen making his Royal Opera debut in the role of her fiancé Albert. Former Jette Parker Young Artist, Japanese soprano Eri Nakamura makes her role debut as Charlotte’s younger sister Sophie.

Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, conducts all performances.

Werther by Jules Massenet. 5, 11, 14, 17 May at 7.30pm & 21 May at 7pm / 8 May at 3pm

Release issued by: Royal Opera House

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