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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Massenet: Werther, 1902 Version for Baritone DVD
Thomas Hampson, Werther
Susan Graham, Charlotte
Stephane Degout, Albert
Sandrine Plau, Sophie
Rene Schirrer, Le Bailli
Francois Piolino, Schmidt
Laurent Alvaro, Johann
Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse
Maitrise de Paris
Michel Plasson, direction
In July 2006, Virgin Classics releases a DVD of a rare concert performance of the baritone version of Massenet's opera Werther from the Theatre du Chatelet, paris on April 29, 2004. The principle roles were sung by baritone Thomas Hampson and soprano Susan Graham, supported by Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse under the direction of
conductor Michel Plasson. The musical evening enraptured all those who had the good fortune to be there, and the film of the performance has captured all that made this Werther a legendary performance.
Thomas Hampson has always been a fervent champion of this version, having sung the role with Susan Graham at the New York Metropolitan in 1999. Thomas Hampson was so keen on singing this score in Paris that the concerts were set up at the Chatelet Theatre.
R E V I E W S
"Thomas Hampson makes a credible Werther, his magnificent singing benefiting from his mastery in Lieder, colouring each word and distilling each phrase." -- Pladido Carrerotti, www.forumopera.com
Works on This Recording
Werther by Jules Massenet
Laurent Alvaro (Baritone),
Sandrine Piau (Soprano),
Thomas Hampson (Baritone),
Susan Graham (Mezzo Soprano),
René Schirrer (Baritone),
Stèphane Degout (Baritone),
François Piolino (Tenor)
Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Written: 1892; France
Average Customer Review: ( 3 Customer Reviews )
Beyond My Expectations! August 27, 2013
By Cheryl L. Thaxton (Chicago, IL) See All My Reviews
"Werther is becoming one of my favorite operas. Since there is so little "action," it is particularly suited for a concert performance. Perhaps the drama is contained in the music, so intense and full of anguish and pain. I've recently heard several tenor Werthers: 1) Matthew Polenzani and Sophie Koch at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (the production was a dreadful distraction); 2) Jonas Kaufman (he was incredible) and Sophie Koch on DVD; 3) Rolando Villazon (equally incredible) and Sophie Koch on CD; and, 4) Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu on CD. Hearing the baritone version was a special treat. Thomas Hampson was phenomenal and that stunning Susan Graham brought a passion to Charlotte that I hadn't heard previously. I also enjoyed seeing the conductor (he was mesmerizing) and the cellist on stage. You don't see the orchestra in a staged production. The camera work, something I usually don't notice, was ingenious. I thought this DVD was a wonderful performance that I will treasure for a long time."
A Disappointment February 22, 2013
By BURTON A JONES, JR. (Manvel, TX) See All My Reviews
"Let me begin by saying I hate concert concert performances of works that are primarily visual works and I hate seeing quality singers waste their time and talents by standing in a line on stage. If you want to record only the audio. do a CD, not a DVD. Had I known it was a concert performance before I bought it I would not have bought it and I never will play it."
EXCELLENT OPERA May 12, 2012
By Karen Taylor (Walnut Creek, CA) See All My Reviews
"Well worth watching. Stars are excellent, music moving, LOVED IT!"