Marcelo Álvarez (Werther), Elina Garanca (Charlotte), Ileana Tonca (Sophie), Adrian Eröd (Albert), Alfred Sramek (Le Bailli), Peter Jelosits (Schmidt), Marcus Pelz (Johann), Clemens Unterreiner (Brühlmann) & Maria Gusenleitner (Käthchen)
Orchestra, Stage Orchestra and Chorus der Wiener Staatsoper & Children of the Opernschule der Wiener Staatsoper, Philippe Jordan (conductor) & Andrei Serban (director)
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Set Design by Peter Pabst.
Arthaus presents the Vienna State Opera’s outstandingly cast new production of Werther on DVD. The production was the Vienna State Opera debut for the young Swiss conductor Philippe Jordan - the Argentinian tenor Marcelo Álvarez, took the title role. Although he had already secured an international reputation through his performances in leading opera houses all over the world, this was his first appearance in the premiere of a production in Vienna. His Charlotte, on this occasion the young Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, joined the Vienna State Opera in 2003. Her performances have been enthusiastically received and she has already been labelled as the new mezzo wonder alongside Vesselina Kasarova and Magdalena Kožená. Staged by internationally sought-after Rumanian director, Andrei Serban, the apparently sentimental love story – normally presented in 18th century period costumes - reveals a study of personal relationships and a close observation of a woman, who comes of age too late. Serban’s aim was to rid the opera of the unjustifi ed reputation of banality that clings to it despite its underlying tragic mood. By setting the production in the stiff, claustrophobic atmosphere of a small town in the 1950s, he aimed to make the audience more aware of its deeper levels of self-denial.
BONUS: Prior to the opening night - Marcelo Álvarez and Elina Garanca at the Vienna Opera Ball
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.0, DTS 5.0
Picture Format: 16:9
DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC
Subtitle Languages: DE, GB, FR, ES, IT
Running Time: 132 mins + 12 mins bonus
“What raises the staging to a high level of intensity are the central performances and the conducting...[Álvarez's] morbid poet is outstandingly realised both vocally and dramatically...Philippe Jordan ensures that Massenet's pent-up emotion explodes exactly on cue, its expressive power proving impossible to resist.”
“My initial prejudice against bringing forward the action of Massenet's masterpiece of sentiment to the 1950s was mostly assuaged by Andrei Serban's searching direction of his principals in this production from the Vienna State Opera. The young Latvian mezzo Elina Garanča advances her growing reputation with a portrayal of Charlotte that is acted as well as it is sung. Philippe Jordan... overlays the intimate, inward melos of Massenet's score with an outer layer of overdone fervour, but the State Opera Orchestra play superbly.”
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