Based on Goethe’s classic novel “Die Leiden Des Jungen Werthers” (The Sorrows of Young Werther), Jules Massenet’s opera “Werther” adds French romantic passion to the text. The work has many memorable moments, from the dramatic overture to Charlotte’s “Air des lettres” and Werther’s soulful aria “Porquoi me réveiller?” The staging of this production, which is by Nicolas Joel and was first seen in 2016, faithfully recreates the atmosphere of the original story and places the focus on Werther’s sentiments.
In this revival production, performed at the New National Theatre Tokyo, Werther is played by leading lyric tenor Saimir Pirgu. Making a highly anticipated role debut as Charlotte is internationally renowned Japanese mezzo-soprano Mihoko Fujimura. Sweet-natured little sister Sophie is sung by popular Japanese soprano Hiroko Kouda. Bringing out Massenet’s lush yet delicate orchestration is Paul Daniel, Music Director of the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine.