Jules Massenet



Jules Massenet’s Werther is based on Goethe’s famous epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (Die Leiden des jungen Werthers). The operatic version of this tragic story about the unhappy young Werther, who is driven to suicide by his unfulfilled passion for the married Charlotte, has moved audiences for generations. The opera has a special connection with Vienna, as its world premiere took place to great success at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1892! In the current production by Andrei Serban the story is set in the 1950s. French conductor Frédéric Chaslin, who has a longstanding and close relationship with the house, will lead the performance series in September.

27 October 2019
19:00 - 21:30
1 intermission
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Cast | 27.10.2019

Conductor Frédéric Chaslin
Director Andrei Serban
Set and costume design Peter Pabst
Assistant costume designer Petra Reinhardt
Werther Vittorio Grigolo
Albert Adrian Eröd
Charlotte Elena Maximova
Sophie Daniela Fally


In the middle of summer, the widowed magistrate is rehearsing Christmas carols with his young children. Werther, who comes to visit, rhapsodizes on the wonders of nature. When he sees the love that the children have for their sister Charlotte, the magistrate’s only adult daughter, he is deeply impressed. Left alone with Charlotte, he declares his love for her. However, Charlotte evades his advances and tells him of a promise she made to her dying mother: to marry Albert, her fiancé. The news arrives that Albert has returned home. In deep despair, Werther is left alone.

Several months after Albert and Charlotte’s wedding, the two rivals have occasion to talk. Albert seems to have forgiven Werther for his earlier passion. Charlotte and Werther are hardly left alone when Werther renews his protestation of love. Charlotte once again rejects him and forbids seeing her again until Christmas time. Werther rushes out, leaving Sophie, Charlotte’s fifteen-year-old sister, in tears. She is unhappily in love with him.

On Christmas day, Charlotte, who now realizes that she loves Werther, is reading his letters. She is alarmed by the threat contained in one of his letters to commit suicide. When Sophie joins her and talks about Werther, Charlotte collapses in tears. Shortly after Sophie leaves, Werther arrives quite unexpectedly. He demands a kiss, which Charlotte refuses him. Werther then leaves Charlotte and sends Albert a letter, asking him for his pistol. Albert duly has it sent to him. Charlotte remembers Wether’s threats of suicide, and she rushes out to find him. However, by the time Charlotte finds him, he is already dying. Now that it is too late, she admits that she loves him. In the distance, the children are heard singing the Christmas carol that they were practicing in the summer.


This production is made possible thanks to the support of