Concert Review: The Israeli Opera

Massenet: Werther Opera House, Tel Aviv November 12

By URY EPPSTEIN
November 14, 2018 20:49
1 minute read.
A theater stage

A theater stage. (photo credit: MOHAMMAD JANGDA/FLICKR)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

One wonders whether Goethe, whose novel The Sufferings of the Young Werther was at the peak of German Classical literature and at a turning point toward Romanticism, would have been happy with Massenet’s tear-jerking sentimental opera Werther.

Director Paul Emile Fourny and designer Benoit Dugardyn’s framed stage was original, no doubt, but contributed only little to the understanding of the plot, and even tended to be confusing. Secondary actors milling around the stage were superfluous and diverted attention from the main characters. Werther’s dying scene was too theatrical to be convincing, with an inappropriate pardonne moi (“Forgive me”) and with a fortissimo whose force did not suit a man on his deathbed.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


In the title role, Korean tenor Ho-Yoon Chung was an intense, impassioned lover. His singing about death already in Act 2 did not leave him much choice toward his end.

As Charlotte, Maya Lahyani made one understand why Werther fell in love with her lovely, high-pitched, soft mezzo-soprano. Their duet in Act 3 was a highlight of the performance. In the role of Albert, Oded Reich’s sonorous baritone sounded authoritative and appropriately indignant.


Conducted by Alan Guingal, the Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion provided the instrumental part expertly and dramatically, especially in Act 4 when the music became less commonplace.

This performance proved how difficult it is to produce a satisfying production of a second-rate opera that, not unjustifiably, is only seldom performed.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Yoav Galant
December 12, 2018
Galant eyeing site for an ‘embassy quarter’ in Jerusalem

By LAHAV HARKOV