Everything that’s wrong with French opéra

I need to preface this by saying that I’m not a fan of french opéra (specifically opéra lyrique, and I’m especially skeptical of Massenet).

The stage is quaintly arranged, albeit a bit boring, as a pink-ish cupboard-laden kitchen, with doors opening to reveal various backgrounds as the play progresses.

The technical quality is superb, both in the voices of Juan Diego Flórez (Werther) and Anna Stéphany (Charlotte) as well as the music, I just find the libretto and the play in general incredibly boring—one wishes Werther would just die right away, instead of languishing and singing on and on for a good 20 minutes. An exception though, the “Vivat Bacchus, Semper vivat” aria is fantastic and quite entertaining.

Christian Knabenhans
Christian Knabenhans
Ph.D. student in security and privacy

Doctoral student at EPFL. Applied cryptography, privacy-enhancing technologies, useable security.