March 15: Werther

Mar 11, 2014

A scene from Massenet's "Werther" with Jonas Kaufmann as the title character and Sophie Koch as Charlotte.
Credit Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera

The 2013-14 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of the tragic romance Werther, Saturday, March 15 at noon on KLRE Classical 90.5.

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann stars in the title role of the tortured poet. Alain Altinoglu leads a cast that includes French mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch in her network broadcast debut as Charlotte, the object of Werther’s impossible love; Lisette Oropesa as Sophie; Serbian bass-baritone David Bižić in his network broadcast debut as Albert; and Jonathan Summers as the Bailiff. Werther will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 15.

Jonas Kaufmann has sung the role of Werther to acclaim with Paris Opera in 2010 and with the Vienna State Opera in 2011, both times opposite Sophie Koch as Charlotte. His starring roles at the Met, since his 2006 company debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata, have included the title characters in new productions of Wagner’s Parsifal and Gounod’s Faust, Siegmund in a new production of Wagner’s Die Walküre, Don José in Bizet’s Carmen, and Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca. Last season, Kaufmann became the first Met artist since Luciano Pavarotti to perform a solo recital on the Met stage.

Sophie Koch is one of the world’s leading interpreters of Charlotte, having sung the role with Paris Opera; the Vienna State Opera; Madrid’s Teatro Real; the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her other performances this season include Adriano in Wagner’s Rienzi at the Salzburg Festival; Octavian in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées; Mère Marie in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; and the Composer in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos at Vienna State Opera.

Soprano Lisette Oropesa’s most recent Met appearance was as Nannetta in the new production of Verdi’s Falstaff, which premiered in December. A graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she has sung more than 100 performances of 13 roles with the company, including Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto; Miranda in the world premiere of the Baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island; Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro; Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice; and Lisette in the 2008 new production premiere of Puccini’s La Rondine.

David Bižić has recently appeared as Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Versailles Opera, Montpellier Opera, and Los Angeles Opera; the title character in Le Nozze di Figaro at Geneva Opera; Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Paris Opera; and Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Jonathan Summers made his Met debut in 1988 as Marcello in La Bohème. He sings frequently with Opera Australia in Sydney, where his roles in recent seasons have included Carlo in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, Germont in La Traviata, Tonio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, and Alfio in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.

Alain Altinoglu has conducted three operas at the Met: Carmen in 2010, Faust in 2012 and 2013, and Verdi’s Otello in 2013. His other performances this season include Don Giovanni and Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at the Vienna State Opera, Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, Strauss’s Salome at Zurich Opera, and Aprikian’s La Naissance de David de Sassoun at the Opéra-Comique in Paris.

The intermission will include backstage interviews conducted by HD host Patricia Racette.