thu 24/06/2021

Werther, Opera North | reviews, news & interviews

Werther, Opera North

Werther, Opera North

Massenet's thwarted lovers triumph at Opera North

Werther is based on the young Goethe’s semi-autobiographical epistolary novel which tells of a young artist’s thwarted love for a simple country girl who is already engaged. First performed in Vienna in 1892, it is audibly a product of that time. You can hear the predominant influence of Wagner in piquant unresolved dissonances, suggestive of a fleeter-footed, gallic Tristan with added harps. The sheer depth and splendour of the music is what makes a potentially risible narrative work so gloriously: it is superbly paced and always entertaining. And Opera North’s first stab at it since 1982 satisfies on every level.
Werther is based on the young Goethe’s semi-autobiographical epistolary novel which tells of a young artist’s thwarted love for a simple country girl who is already engaged. First performed in Vienna in 1892, it is audibly a product of that time. You can hear the predominant influence of Wagner in piquant unresolved dissonances, suggestive of a fleeter-footed, gallic Tristan with added harps. The sheer depth and splendour of the music is what makes a potentially risible narrative work so gloriously: it is superbly paced and always entertaining. And Opera North’s first stab at it since 1982 satisfies on every level.

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