|Klaus Grünberg||Set Designer, Lighting Designer|
|Silke Willrett||Costume Designer|
|Juan Diego Flórez||Tenor||Werther|
|Cheyne Davidson||Baritone||Le Bailli|
|Ernst Raffelsberger||Choirmaster / chorus director|
|Kinderchor der Oper Zürich|
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s epistolary novel, Die Leiden des jungen Werther («The Sorrows of Young Werther») is world-famous. At the end of the 19th century, the French composer Jules Massenet used it as the basis for a touching opera, full of ecstatic emotion and intimate characterisation, delineating the love triangle between the rapturous Werther, his beloved Charlotte and her conventional fiancé Albert with emotional precision. In quest of personal fulfilment and profound emotions, the highly talented and narcissistic Bohemian Werther makes the retiring Charlotte the object of his desires. However, the death of her mother has pushed her into assuming responsibility for her family at an early age, and she now faces the prospect of married life at the side of the civil servant Albert. Although this will offer bourgeois security, it is set to be emotionally unsatisfactory. Werther’s hopeless love grows into a great rebellion against the impositions of adulthood and a life without dreams. He despairs of the situation and ultimately shoots himself in the chest with Albert’s pistols. Only to the fatally wounded Werther does Charlotte confess her love. Tatjana Gürbaca, known for her great narrative imagination, will direct our new production of Massenet’sdrame lyrique.
Goethe’s Sturm und Drang drama is echoed in Massenet’s score by emotionally wide-ranging vocal parts written on a grand scale. The world star Juan Diego Flórez, who sang arias from Massenet’s work at an acclaimed song recital in Zurich during the penultimate season, can now be seen on stage in one of the most poetic and expressive tenor roles of the French repertoire. At his side, Anna Stéphany, already a familiar face in Zurich, will be singing her role début as Charlotte. The Philharmonia Zurich will be conducted by Cornelius Meister.