[Met Performance] CID:256230

Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, January 18, 1979

Debut : Dennis Steff

Review 1:

Review of Robert Jacobson in Opera News

The run of "Werther" (seen Jan. 18), united Alfredo Kraus and Régine Crespin as the poet and Charlotte, producing a performance of exquisite subtlety, poetry and theatrical magic. Both are consummate artists, and Kraus' Werther remains one of the incandescent performances of our time in its simplicity, truth, aristocratic bearing and innate know-how in "spending" his tenor. At every moment Kraus gave the embodiment of the pent-up, tormented romantic hero, while his voice resonated within its compass, but with no bellowing. His is an impersonation of such magnitude that one regrets he has been away from us so long. Miss Crespin, despite some edginess here and there, provided such womanly tone, sensuality, style and communicative inner anguish that she became Charlotte. Together in the haunting "Clair de lune" of Act I they achieved perfection: two sensitive people, their emotions of love caught at the brink, radiating sadness and ecstasy. All around, this "Werther" seemed to soar, with Richard Bonynge's exquisitely textured conducting, which occasionally blanketed the singers, but emerged with profound feeling for the score. Kathleen Battle's engaging personality and radiantly warm high soprano was ideal for Sophie, while Lenus Carlson lent his distinctive baritone and stature to Albert.

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