opera notebook

some operas I have seen on video

Jules Massenet, Werther (1892)
Opernhaus Zürich, 2018

Juan Diego Flórez
Juan Diego Flórez

A strange forced-perspective interior contains all the action of Werther, giving a sense of the characters hemmed in by fate. It's weird but it works, as when Juan Diego Flórez as Werther and Anna Stéphany as Charlotte pull strings of what seems to be audio tape straight from the walls and enmesh themselves in them, or Charlotte starts trampling Christmas ornaments, or Werther gets stressed out by his confines and starts to pull up the floorboards. Flórez, though 45 years old at the time, conveys a strong sense of Werther's adolescence, both physically and vocally.