Jules Massenet



The production by the brilliant European operatic director Willy Decker is brought by the Prague-based ensemble in collaboration with Oper Frankfurt.

The new SND building, Opera and Ballet hall

Goethe inspired a whole range of artists, as well as operatic composers. That gave rise to a number of popular works, namely by French composers: Mignon by Ambroise Thomas, Faust by Charles Gounod or Werther by Jules Massenet. The Sorrows of Young Werther, a novel constructed of letters, became soon after its publication a cult book: many readers identified with it, some even followed the lead character all t he way to suicide. The oeuvre represents the German ore-Romantic literary movement Sturm und Drang (Storm and Revolt), that highlighted human emotionality as an answer to cold Rationalism of the Enlightenment period. Massenet’s composing style that follows on that of his mentor Thomas and his colleague Gounod, draws attention principally by its rich melodicism and colourful instrumentation modelled on Richard Wagner. Using his impressive musical language he translates the story of emotions which the main characters are unable to fulfil. Werther is making a comeback to the National Theatre in Prague after eighty years – it was last staged there in the period of 1927 – 1939).

Musical direction: Petr Kofroň
Directorial concept: Willy Decker
Director of the new staging: Stefan Heinrichs
Set and costumes design: Wolfgang Grussmann
Dramaturgy: Beno Blachut

Werther: Peter Berger
City Superintendent: Zdeněk Plech
Charlotta: Štěpánka Pučálková
Sofia: Slávka Zámečníková
Albert: Jiří Brücler
Johann: Ivo Hrachovec
Schmidt: Vladimír Doležal