Looking like the personification of Werther himself in this image, Jules Massenet today celebrates a birthday. I'd have to say that of the French opera composers, Massenet is among my most treasured, he has a sense of sophistication and pure lyrical sensuality that puts him in a class of his own.
Werther, for example, with all of his Late Romantic Goth/Emo appeal will always be one of my favourite tenor roles. He makes me want to give him a great big hug and tell him that everything will be alright. There is something in his music that makes me open the floodgates, even in Act 1. The Claire de Lune and ensuing duet is one of the most touching scenes of complicated young love set to music.
Here is a gorgeous example with Elīna Garanča, Marcelo Álvarez in a production from Vienna in 2005. A perfect example of how delicious the music of Massenet is with an updated setting. Happy birthday Massenet.
#Massenet #FrenchOpera #ElinaGaranca #OnThisDay #MarcelloAlvarez #Werther #HappyBirthday