Jan. 27, 2024, 7 p.m.
Using Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s famous epistolary novel Die Leiden des jungen Werther (Sorrows of Young Werther) as a source, French composer Jules Massenet created a work full of ecstatic emotion and intimate character portraits. Massenet’s opera counts as one of the central works of the French Romantic repertoire. It addresses the contrast between the exuberant Sturm-und-Drang love felt by the poet Werther, and the petty-bourgeois setting from which the object of his desire, Charlotte, cannot escape. Their hopeless love grows, until it becomes a grand rebellion against the unreasonable demands of growing up, and against a life without dreams. Using highly poetic images, and with sensitive character direction, stage director Tatjana Gürbaca creates deeply moving figures who ultimately fail: It is simply not possible to reconcile the emotional vastness of their rapturous, all-consuming love with the social constraints around them. Appearing in the tenor role of Werther, one of the most beautiful and expressive roles in the French repertoire, is tenor Benjamin Bernheim, an internationally renowned singer with roots in Zurich. And at the conductor’s podium is the young Lithuanian conductor Giedrė Šlekytė, a promising artist on her way to a major international career.
Kulturstelle contact: Ana Kitanovic email
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