Met Opera on Demand Catalog
(Apr. 16, 1988)
Composer: Jules Massenet
Librettist: Édouard Blau
Fournet; von Stade, Kraus, Stilwell
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 13 min.
Werther is one of the iconic figures in literature, an innocent young man who feels nature deeply and loves unreservedly. In Massenet’s alluring operatic version, Alfredo Kraus magnificently captures every nuance of this complex character—his aristocratic bearing and pure soul, his anguish that the only woman he can love is promised to another man, and finally the despair that leads to his suicide. Frederica von Stade sings Charlotte, the woman who returns Werther’s feelings but honors her promise to someone else. Dawn Upshaw is a sparkling Sophie, Charlotte’s younger sister.