I had high hopes for this last night but found it a pallid affair. The main draw was Juan Diego Florez as Werther but I found him very disappointing. Years ago when he was singing Rossini and Donizetti mainly he had no equal. His light, bright, agile voice, with an effortless top end, was thrilling. He's now moved into heavier roles and he just isn't suited to this repertoire. You need a voice like Jose Carreras in his prime, or, even better, Alfredo Kraus who I was lucky enough to see in the late 70s. I last saw Vittorio Grigolo in this role and he wasn't much cop either - over-emoting on every occasion and showing no finesse.
Isabel Leonard was also disappointing as Charlotte. She has an unexceptional voice and seemed to be just going through the motions. There was absolutely no chemistry between her and Florez. The Garden seems to be having difficulty casting this opera effectively; last time I saw the usually excellent Joyce Didonato as Charlotte and she seemed ill at ease. The best singing of the night came from Jacques Imbrailo as Albert and Heather Engebretson as Sophie. Also worthy of praise was the conducting of Edward Gardiner. Massenet's beautiful score sounded wonderful in his hands.
Post by AddisonMizner on Sept 25, 2019 19:49:02 GMT
I love WERTHER. One of my favourite operas.
I was very tempted to book for this, but the cast didn’t really excite. I would have liked to have seen Jonas Kaufmann do it in London after successful performances of the role elsewhere, or even better, Piotr Beczala. I have never understood why Beczala does not perform more at the ROH. He just has (another) BOHEME this season (which I will of course be going to).