Preloader Operavision
Alessia Santambrogio
13.12.2020 at 19h00 CET
Sunday, December 13, 2020 - 19:00

Teatro Sociale di Como / AsLiCo


Why do you awaken me, breath of spring?

Operas | Massenet

When a passionate poet falls for a young woman, she is stirred by his ardent declaration of love. Yet she is promised to another and ends up rejecting him, prompting him to make a fatal gesture. 


With some of the most gorgeously romantic music ever written, Jules Massenet’s Werther adapts Goethe's wildly successful epistolary novel into one of the finest accomplishments in French opera. This production stars the winners of the 71st AsLiCo Singing Competition in 2020, whose youthful passion rivals Werther's own.


Recorded on 5 November 2020


Sung in French. Subtitles are available in English with the option of auto-translation into over 100 other languages. Co-production Teatri di Opera Lombardia: Teatro Sociale di Como, Teatro Grande di Brescia, Teatro Fraschini di Pavia, Teatro Ponchielli di Cremona

Available from
13.12.2020 at 19h00 CET

Available until
13.06.2021 at 12h00 CET

Werther Gillen Munguía
Le Bailli Alberto Comes
Charlotte Karina Demurova
Albert Guido Dazzini
Schmidt Nicola Di Filippo
Johann Filippo Rotondo
Sophie Maria Rita Combattelli
Brühlmann Andrea Gervasoni
Kätchen Luisa Bertoli
Chorus Coro voci bianche del Teatro Sociale di Como
Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali

Music Jules Massenet
Conductor Francesco Pasqualetti
Director Stefano Vizioli
Set Designer Emanuele Sinisi
Designer Anna Maria Heinreich
Lighting Designer Vincenzo Raponi
Chorus Master Lidia Basterretxea
Visuals Imaginarium Creative Studio
Assistant director Pierluigi Vanelli
Assistant set designer Eleonora De Leo

Act I

At his home in the Hessian town of Wetzlar, the bailiff tries to teach his youngest children a Christmas song. His two drinking buddies, Johann and Schmidt, are amused at his struggle to practice Christmas songs in the middle of summer. The bailiff informs them that his eldest daughter, Charlotte, is getting ready for the evening's ball, and that the young poet Werther is to accompany her as Charlotte's fiancé, Albert, is away on business.

Arriving at the bailiff’s house, Werther is overwhelmed by the glorious summer day and pays tribute to nature through poetry. He is interrupted by the sound of children: it is Charlotte who is hurrying to give her young siblings supper before she leaves for the evening’s entertainment. Werther is completely captivated by what he sees. The bailiff says that he has become a widower, and that it is Charlotte who takes care of the children and the house now that her mother is dead.

After Werther and Charlotte have left for the ball, Albert suddenly arrives after having been away from town for six months. He is disappointed that Charlotte is not at home but asks Sophie, the bailiff’s second daughter, not reveal that he is back: he wants it to be a surprise for everyone the next day.

After Werther and Charlotte return from the ball, Werther confesses his love for her. But he becomes full of despair when Charlotte tells him what she promised her mother on her deathbed: that she must take care of the family and marry Albert.

Act II

It is a brilliant and sunny Sunday, and Albert and Charlotte have been married for three months. Together with other guests, they flock to the church to celebrate the golden wedding day of the pastor.

Werther observes Charlotte and her husband from a distance and he mourns the loss of what he has decided is the great love of his life. Albert tells Werther that he understands his despair and forgives him. Werther lies to Albert that he now sees Charlotte as nothing more than a good friend.

The two men are interrupted by the fun-loving Sophie who declares that as the air is full of merriment she’d like to celebrate and have the first dance with Werther. But Werther retires, ashamed at having lied to Albert about his love for Charlotte. When Charlotte arrives, Werther again declares his passion for her.

Charlotte, a little distraught, repeats that she must follow her duty and that she belongs to another. She demands that Werther leave town, but weakens and asks him to come back later, at Christmas time. Werther states that he will never return again.


Autumn has turned to winter, and on Christmas Eve Charlotte reads all the letters from Werther with despair and overwhelming emotion. Sophie tries to cheer her big sister up, but to no avail.

Werther suddenly arrives, and he and Charlotte exchange memories of the time before they were separated. Werther quotes from a passionate poem he was in the process of translating. The meeting is intense, but Werther leaves Charlotte abruptly.

Albert comes home and tells Charlotte he has heard from townsfolk that Werther has been visiting her. He also shows her a letter he has just received from Werther: ‘I'm going on a long journey. Will you lend me your guns?’ Charlotte senses a terrible looming tragedy and rushes away.

Act IV

That night, Charlotte makes her way to Werther’s house. In his room, she finds him wounded, but he forbids her to fetch for help. They finally embrace and she declares her love for him before he dies in her arms.