WERTHER Opens 5/12 at Washington National Opera

April 12
2:52 PM 2012

Washington National Opera (WNO) will present Jules Massenet's Werther, May 12–27 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. The production, which updates the opera's traditional setting to the mid-20th century, is new to Washington, D.C. and is directed by Chris Alexander, with cinematic sets by Tony ® winner Michael Yeargan and evocative period costumes by the Montreal fashion house Barilà. Massenet's lyrical and emotionally vivid score will be performed by the WNO Orchestra under the baton of French conductor EmManuel Villaume, who has successfully conducted eight previous productions for WNO.

Werther also features a children's chorus, highlighting some of the region's young talent. The opera tells the story of the passionate young poet Werther, who falls in love with the beautiful Charlotte, who is already engaged to Albert. Haunted and steadfast in his devotion to Charlotte, Werther clings to his unrequited love with tragic results. Italian tenor Francesco Meli makes his WNO debut as the lovelorn poet Werther, and is joined by Italian mezzo-soprano Sonia Ganassi as Charlotte. Their recent performances of these roles in Italy garnered praise for their chemistry and abilities as singing actors. American soprano Emily Albrink is Charlotte's sister Sophie and British bass-baritone AnDrew FosterWilliams is Albert. Rounding out the cast are three American singers: Julien Robbins as Bailli, Tim Augustin as Schmidt, and Kenneth Kellogg as Johann.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.kennedy-center.org/wno.

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