Libretto: Eduard Blau, Paul Milliet & Georges Hartmann
One of the most romantic operas of all times, based on Goethe’s famous novel, in a production that combines the world of visual art with the dire reality of unrequited love.
|Director||Paul Emile Fourny|
|Set Designer||Benoit Dugardyn|
|Costume Designer||Stella Maris Muller|
|Lighting Designer||Patrick Meeus|
|Le Bailli||Insung Sim|
|Pnini Leon Grubner|
The Opera Orchestra - The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion
Sung in French
English and Hebrew Surtitles
Translation: Israel Ouval
A new production, originally created for the Metz Metropole, L’Opera de Reims and L’Opera de Massy
Summer. The garden of the bailiff’s house
The widowed bailiff is seated on the terrace with six of his young children around him. They are singing a Christmas carol, and he jovially rebukes their poor performance by saying they would not sing so badly if their elder sister Charlotte were there. The bailiff’s friends, Schmidt and Johann, look in and ask him to join them at a tavern later in the evening. Sophie, Charlotte’s 15 year old sister, comes in and they talk about Werther, a rather melancholy young man intended for a diplomatic career, and about Albert, who will make a good husband for Charlotte. Everyone goes into the house. Werther appears, and reflects on the summer evening atmosphere of the picturesque village. Charlotte, dressed for the ball to take place that evening, returns accompanied by the bailiff and the children. Fellow merry makers are late, and she takes advantage of the delay to prepare supper for the children. The bailiff hails the arrival of various guests and presents Werther to the 20 year old Charlotte, mentioning that she has looked after the young family since her mother’s death. Werther is touched by the scene of contented domesticity, and goes off with Charlotte to the ball. Night is falling and everyone has left except for Sophie. She is surprised by the unexpected arrival of Albert, Charlotte’s betrothed, who has been away for six months. They talk happily of the future when he will be Charlotte’s husband. Albert sings of Charlotte’s love for him.
Werther and Charlotte return from the ball in sentimental mood. She recalls the memory of her mother and speaks affectionately of her brothers and sisters. Werther praises her devotion and her beauty. He is moved to declare his love for her - whereupon the bailiff calls from the house that Albert has returned. The spell is broken. Werther, learning that Albert is the man chosen by Charlotte’s mother as her daughter’s future husband, is devestaded.
Autumn. Sunday afternoon, outside the church
Schmidt and Johann are sitting outside the local tavern watching the devout parishioners entering the church to celebrate the village pastor’s golden wedding anniversary. Charlotte and Albert, man and wife now for the past three months, appear arm in arm and talk of their contented life together. They, too, go into the church. Werther has watched them from afar and bitterly laments having lost Charlotte. Albert emerges from the church. He intuitively understands the cause of Werther’s distress and sympathizes with his feelings. Werther, impressed by this gesture, replies that he will be loyal to them both. Sophie, with her characteristic gaiety, joins in the conversation.
Werther remains alone. When Charlotte comes out of the church he cannot prevent himself from speaking again of his love for her, and, he nostalgically remembers their first meeting. Charlotte warns him that she belongs to another. He must, she adds, try to forget her. Go away, she tells him, and do not return until Christmas. Alone, once again, he gives way to despair. Sophie’s invitation to join in the celebration is brusquely rejected. He leaves her in tears saying that he will never return. When she passes on the news, Albert realizes it is obvious that Werther still loves Charlotte.
Winter. Christmas Eve, the drawing room of Albert’s house
Charlotte thinks of Werther and re reads his letters to her. She knows now that, despite herself, she loves him as much as ever. Sophie enters but even her innocent optimism is unable to cheer her sister’s somber mood. Charlotte gives way to her overpowering emotion, her heart is torn between love for Werther and her moral principles. Werther himself suddenly appears, pale and desolate. He has returned at the appointed time, but his period of absence has done nothing to quell his ardor. Together he and Charlotte evoke tender memories of the songs they sang and the books they used to read, especially the Romantic ballads of Ossian which inspire Werther to meditate on the futility of love. But Charlotte, making a supreme effort, forces herself to reject him and flies from the room. Werther is left without hope.
Albert returns and his suspicions are aroused by Charlotte’s obvious agitation. A servant hands him a letter from Werther asking to borrow Albert’s pistols as he is about to go on a long journey. The pistols are duly dispatched. The sinister meaning of the note dawns on Charlotte, and once Albert has gone she rushes off to find Werther.
Christmas night, Werther’s lodging
Charlotte arrives in Werther’s study to find him mortally wounded. He asks her forgiveness, though she, driven by remorse, claims that she is the one who needs to be forgiven. He warns her not to call for help: he will be happy to die avowing his adoration for her. She confesses that she has loved him since the day they first met and she sees now that it is her fault that she has lost him. She returns his kiss. As the distant sound of children singing the Christmas carol through the window emerges, the distraught Charlotte realizes that t he man she loved is dead.
Back Stage Secrets
Back Stage Secrets at the Opera
Many Opportunities to Widen your Opera Experience
Do you want to know more about the opera you are about to attend? Do you want to find out some back stage secrets? Do you want to meet the artists after the performance? The Israeli Opera enables you to widen your opera experience with a variety of pre performance and post-performance events.
On Saturday morning before the premiere, the creators of the production and several of the soloists gather to discuss the opera, the production, their own career and today’s opera world. This is a unique opportunity to learn as much as possible about the production and meet the director, conductor, designers and some of the participating soloists. Musical excerpts from the opera illustrate the discussion. Towards Opening takes place before some of each season’s productions.
Pre Performance Lecture
One hour before each opera performance there is a 30-minute introductory lecture in the auditorium (in Hebrew). Opera staffers present the opera and the production and enable the audience to get some extra information a short time before attending the performances. Admission is free for ticket holders.
Pre Performance Back Stage Tours
What happens backstage before the audience even thinks of getting dressed for the performance? What do the singers do? The conductor? The Technical teams? How does everyone prepare for the performance? A unique opportunity to taste a little bit of the back stage excitement before the curtain ascends/ A concerted half hour tour in places that are not usually open to the general public. Tours begin 90 minute before the performance begins and last 30 minutes. Tickets are 25NIS and can be booked in advance (tickets for each tour are limited). Tours take place on several evenings in each production. Details can be found at the Israeli opera’s website. Tours from groups both in Hebrew and in English can be booked in advance (firstname.lastname@example.org )
The curtain has just descended on the final scene of the opera. The hour is late. Nut the experience was riveting. This is the time to meet several of the performers. Come to listen and to speak. Ask questions. Meet the artists. A once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the artists who have just excited you on the stage. Opera Talkbacks takes place on the second level of the Opera House foyer and last around 30 minutes. Admission free. Opera Talkback takes place on several evenings in each production. Details can be found at the Israeli opera’s website.
3 November 2018
12 November 2018
Before every show
An hour before every show
15, 18, 19, 21 November 2018
16:30 / 18:30
10, 14, 15, 18, 19 November 2018
After the show