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Jules Massenet: Werther - with Juan Diego Flórez from the Opernhaus Zürich - on DVD & Blu-ray

Jules Massenet

Juan Diego Flórez (Werther)
Anna Stéphany (Charlotte)
Mélissa Petit (Sophie)
Audun Iversen (Albert)
Cheyne Davidson (Le Bailli)
Martin Zysset (Schmidt)

Cornelius Meister, musical direction
Tatjana Gürbaca, stage director
Klaus Grünberg, light design
Silke Willrett, costume design
Claus Spahn, dramaturgy

Philharmonia Zürich
Kinderchor der Oper Zürich
Chor der Oper Zürich

Forbidden love, wrongdoings and anguish: the Opernhaus Zürich ventures into late 19th-century French romanticism with “Werther“ by French composer Jules Massenet. A loose adaptation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s epistolary novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther”, the opera is conducted by Germany’s Cornelius Meister. It tells the story of the impossible union of poet Werther to Charlotte, a woman of duty already promised to a wealthy businessman.

Goethe’s drama is echoed in Massenet’s score by emotionally wide-ranging vocal parts written on a grand scale. Juan Diego Flórez is undisputedly one of the best belcanto tenors of our times and embodies a tortured and nuanced Werther. “It’s not a profane appearance of any singer – it is an epiphany!” gushes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in a rave review. At Flórez’s side, Franco-British mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany sang her role début as Charlotte. The one-room staging by Tatjana Gürbaca cleverly makes the social stranglehold of oppression tangible. Should one come into the fold or escape?

Recorded at the Opernhaus Zürich,
April 2017

This DVD has been included in the Spring “Quarterly Critics’ Choice” of the German Record Critics’ Award 2018. The jury writes: “This opera is a true jewel of the repertoire: fragrant, yet sincere, and with a title role that lyric tenors drool over. Tatjana Gürbaca has staged “Werther” in Zurich with intelligence, innovation and intensity. Klaus Grünbergs’ staging is bright, with the focus on a narrow, box-like room that shrinks in perspective. The fervent utopian dream of a mad lover is strikingly contrasted with Massenet’s delicious melodic drizzle, from which Cornelius Meister removes the calories by sharpening the contours. Juan Diego Flórez portrays Werther both as a prototype and as an individual. At no point does he merely sing the music: this world-class singer is a perfect match for his role. (For the jury: Manuel Brug)”

This is one overall very convincing performance in which the staging oscillates between reality and dream worlds. Florez is a nearly perfect performer for the role of Werther, Stéphany provides a sublime contrast. The music is played colourfully and with a lot of finesse. Pizzicato

Видео Jules Massenet: Werther - with Juan Diego Flórez from the Opernhaus Zürich - on DVD & Blu-ray канала accentusmusic
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25 мая 2018 г. 15:26:35