Werther

Operas by Jules Massenet
La grand'tante (1867)
Don Csar de Bazan (1872)
Le roi de Lahore (1877)
Hrodiade (1881)
Manon (1884)
Le Cid (1885)
Esclarmonde (1889)
Le mage (1891)
Werther (1892)
Thas (1894)
Le portrait de Manon (1894)
La Navarraise (1894)
Sapho (1897)
Cendrillon (1899)
Grislidis (1901)
Le jongleur de Notre-Dame (1902)
Chrubin (1903)
Ariane (1906)
Thrse (1907)
Bacchus (1909)
Don Quichotte (1910)
Roma (1912)
Panurge (1913)
Cloptre (1914)
Amadis (1922)
Werther is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann based on the German novella The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It was first performed at the Hofoper in Vienna on February 16, 1892. Werther is regularly performed.

Principal characters

  • Charlotte, a young woman - mezzo-soprano
  • Sophie, her sister - soprano
  • Werther, a young poet - tenor (though the score was revised by Massenet in 1902 for baritone Mattia Battistini in this role)
  • Albert, betrothed to Charlotte - baritone
  • Le Bailli, Charlotte's father - bass
  • Schmidt, a friend of the Bailli - tenor
  • Johann, a friend of the Bailli - baritone
  • Bruhlmann, town fool, young poet - tenor
  • Katchen, Bruhlmanns fiance of seven years - mezzo-soprano

Synopsis

Time: July to December 1780.
Place: The outskirts of Frankfurt.

Act I

The widowed Bailiff teaches his younger children a Christmas carol, surprising his two neighbors, Schmidt and Johann, for it is July. Charlotte dresses for a ball. Since her intended, Albert, is away, she is escorted by Werther whom they find gloomy. Werther arrives and watches as Charlotte prepares her young siblings' supper, just as her mother had before she died. Werther greets Charlotte with a kiss, and they leave for the ball. Albert returns unexpectedly after a six month trip. He is unsure of Charlotte's intentions and disappointed not to find her here, but is reassured and consoled by Sophie. He leaves after promising to return in the morning. Werther and Charlotte return very late, and he is already enamoured with her. His declaration of love is interrupted by the announcement of Albert's return. Charlotte recalls how she promised her dying mother she would marry Albert. Werther despairs.

Act II

It is three months later, and Charlotte and Albert are now married. They walk happily to church, pursued by the gloomy Werther. Sophie tries to cheer him up. When Charlotte exits the church, he speaks to her of their first meeting. Charlotte begs Werther not to try to see her again until Christmas day. Werther contemplates suicide, but leaves quickly when Sophie greets him. Charlotte comforts the tearful girl who does not understand his cruel behavior. Albert now realizes that Werther loves Charlotte.

Act III

Charlotte is at home alone on Christmas Eve. She spends time rereading Werther's letters to her, wondering how the young poet is and how she had the strength to send him away. Suddenly Werther appears, and while he reads her poetry, he realizes that she returns his love. They embrace for a moment, but she quickly bids him farewell. He leaves with thoughts of suicide. Albert returns home to find his distraught wife. Werther has sent a message to Albert requesting to borrow his pistols, explaining he is going on an extended trip. A servant is sent to deliver the pistols. Charlotte has a terrible premonition and hurries to find Werther.

Act IV

At Werther's apartment, Charlotte has arrived too late. Werther is dying. She consoles him by declaring her love. He asks for forgiveness. Outside children are heard singing a Christmas carol.

Noted arias

  • Act I - Werther: "O Nature, pleine de grace"
  • Act II - Sophie: "Du gai soleil, plein de flame"
  • Act III - Charlotte: "Va, laisse couler mes larmes"
  • Act III - Charlotte: "Werther! Qui m'aurait dit /Je vous écris de ma petite chambre." (Letter Scene)
  • Act III - Werther: "Pourquoi me réveiller?"

Recordings

Enlarge picture
Alagna and Gheorghiu in Werther (EMI)
DVD: CD:

References

External links

Jules (Émile Frédéric) Massenet (May 12, 1842 – August 13, 1912) was a French composer. He is best known for his operas, which were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th century; they afterwards fell into oblivion for the most part, but have undergone periodic
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La grand'tante (The Great Aunt) is an opera in one act by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Jules Adenis and Charles Grandvallet. It was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on April 3, 1867.
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Le roi de Lahore ("The king of Lahore") is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Louis Gallet. It was first performed at the Palais Garnier in Paris on April 27, 1877.
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Manon is an opéra comique in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille, based on L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost.
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Le Cid is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Louis Gallet, Édouard Blau and Adolphe d'Ennery. It is based on the play of the same name by Pierre Corneille.
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Esclarmonde is an opera in four acts, with prologue and epilogue by Jules Massenet, to a French libretto by Alfred Blau and Louis de Gramont. It was first performed at the Opéra Comique in Paris on May 14, 1889 with American soprano Sybil Sanderson in the title role.
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Le mage is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Jean Richepin. It was first performed at the Opéra Comique in Paris on March 16, 1891.

Le mage has been rarely performed since its premiere and is one of Massenet's least known operas.
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Le portrait de Manon is an opera in one act by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Georges Boyer. It was first performed at the Opéra Comique in Paris on May 8, 1894. It is a sequel to Massenet's 1884 opera Manon, widely regarded to be his masterpiece.
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La Navarraise is an opera in one act by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Jules Claretie and Henri Cain. It was first performed at Covent Garden in London on June 2, 1894, with Emma Calvé in the title role.
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Sapho is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Cain and Arthur Bernède which was based on the novel of the same name by Alphonse Daudet.
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Cendrillon (Cinderella) is an opera—billed as a "fairy tale"—in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Cain. It was composed in 1894–95, but was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 24 May 1899, at the height of Massenet's
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Le jongleur de Notre-Dame is an opera in three acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Maurice Léna. It was first performed in Monte Carlo on February 18, 1902.
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Bacchus is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Catulle Mendès after Greek mythology. It was first performed at the Palais Garnier in Paris on May 5, 1909.

The story is based on the mythology surrounding Bacchus and Ariadne (Ariane).
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Don Quichotte (Don Quixote) is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Cain, first performed in Monte Carlo on 19 February 1910.
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Roma is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Cain based on the play Rome vaincue by Alexandre Parodi. It was first performed at the Opéra in Monte Carlo on February 17, 1912.
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Panurge is an opera in three acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Georges Spitzmuller and Maurice Boukay after Rabelais. It was first performed at the Théâtre de la Gaîté in Paris on April 25, 1913, nearly a year after Massenet's death.
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Amadis is an opera in three acts with prologue by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Jules Claretie based on the Spanish knight-errantry romance Amadis de Gaula, originally of Portuguese origin, by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo.
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Opera is a form of musical and dramatic work in which singers convey the drama.[1] Opera is part of the Western classical music tradition.[2] An opera performance incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery and costumes and
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Jules (Émile Frédéric) Massenet (May 12, 1842 – August 13, 1912) was a French composer. He is best known for his operas, which were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th century; they afterwards fell into oblivion for the most part, but have undergone periodic
..... Click the link for more information.
libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, sacred or secular oratorio and cantata, musical, and ballet. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass and requiem.
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Édouard Blau (1836-1906) was a French dramatist and opera librettist.

Operas to librettos by Édouard Blau

  • Georges Bizet
Don Rodrigue (1873)
  • Jacques Offenbach
La Marocaine (1879)
  • Jules Massenet
Le Cid
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Paul Milliet was a French dramatist and librettist of the Parisian Belle Époque. His opera librettos include Jules Massenet's Hérodiade (1881) and Werther (1892), Alfred Bruneau's Kérim (1887) and Camille Erlanger's Forfaiture (1921).
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Georges Hartmann (pen name: Henri Grémont) was a French dramatist and opera librettist. His librettos include Massenet's Hérodiade (1881) and Werther (1892), Silver's "Chatteau Brillon" (1892), André Messager's Madame Chrysanthème
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A novella is a narrative work of prose fiction longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. While there is some disagreement of what length defines a novella, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a
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The Sorrows of Young Werther
Author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Original title Die Leiden des jungen Werthers
Country Wetzlar
Language German
Genre(s) Epistolary novel
Publisher
Publication date 1774
ISBN NA
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Born: July 28 1749(1749--)
Free City of Frankfurt
Died: March 22 1832 (aged 84)
Weimar, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Occupation: Polymath
Nationality: German
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Vienna (German: Wien [viːn], see also ) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city; with a population of about 1.
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February 16 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events


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18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1860s  1870s  1880s  - 1890s -  1900s  1910s  1920s
1889 1890 1891 - 1892 - 1893 1894 1895

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Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Mattia Battistini, Italian operatic baritone, born Rome, 27 February 1856, died Collebaccaro di Contigliano, Rieti, 7 November, 1928.

Beginnings

He was born in Rome and brought up largely at Collebaccaro di Contigliano, a village near Rieti where his parents had an estate.
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