[Met Performance] CID:228350

Metropolitan Opera House, Tue, February 1, 1972

Werther received seven performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Raymond Ericson in The New York Times


Massenet's "Werther" is a profound work, yet its total charm is not given away on first hearing. It deserves enough repetition to let its considerable felicities make an impact. The Metropolitan Opera gave it a new production last winter and, despite its lack of popularity, it has wisely kept it in the repertory this season. It returned Tuesday night, its appeal strengthened by a knowledgeable cast and conductor.

Régine Crespin's Charlotte, mature in appearance and somewhat edgy in sound, had so much style, was so exquisitely inflected in the singing, as to set a standard for the rest of the performance. It was met handily by the upstanding Albert of John Reardon, the paternal Bailiff of Donald Gramm and the Sophie of Colette Boky. The soprano was new here in the part, but she looked delightfully girlish and sang most engagingly.

Franco Corelli is not much of a vocal stylist, yet when the Corelli sound coincided with the most impassioned of Massenet's scenes, the effect was exciting. One admires at least, his efforts to act the part of the sorrowing, suicidal Werther. Alain Lombard conducted, at times too strenuously, but in general with taste and sensitivity.

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