Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Werther from the ROH

Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
Production:  Benoît Jacquot  (same as Paris)

Werther: Vittorio Grigòlo
Charlotte: Joyce DiDonato

It was interesting to me when the announcer explained that it took a long time for Massenet's Werther to become truly popular.  Now it is the most frequently performed of Massenet's operas, passing Manon.

I am not going to write a long review.  This is the same production as the one I saw in Paris.  The music was French enough, but the acting was a bit over the top.  I love Vittorio, but I don't feel that I want Werther to be quite so mad.  Maybe I truly love this opera only when it is Jonas.  I want him to be unhappy but not mad.

Christine Goerke wants to be sure that reviewers don't blame the actors for the acting.  The director, Jacquot, must have approved it.  Some will prefer it this way.


mamascarlatti said...

I take Goerke's point but in this case I'm pretty sure that there was plenty of Grigolo in the portrayal - he always emotes too much with his acting (and singing). I thought the best thing about this was the lack of "creative" video direction (by Jacquot himself!) which almost sabotaged the Paris version of this production for me. I don't want to see Jonas backstage eating gummy bears in the middle of the performance.

Dr.B said...

I didn't like the gummy bears myself. That should be an extra. But I saw it in Paris live sans gummy bears. I also liked the Met version with Kaufmann. Joyce even commented about making it Italian. I always remember traveling over the alps from Germany to Italy when it went suddenly from silent to everyone talking boisterously in Italian. Werther is more an introverted German for me, not a manic Italian. If I were Charlotte this would scare me.