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SU 26/11/2023

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Hours 15:00 Tickets no longer available
FR 24/11/2023

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Hours 20:00 Tickets no longer available
SU 19/11/2023

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FR 17/11/2023 (Premiere)

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Opera Carlo Felice Genova


To consider
The Fondazione Teatro Carlo Felice announces that in the context of the strikes proclaimed by the National Unions for “stalled negotiations for the renewal of the National Collective Agreement of Workers of the Opera and Symphonic Foundations”, the Fials and Snater Trade Union Organizations have confirmed the strike for the performance of the opera Werther scheduled for Friday 17 November 2023.

The Fondazione, unable to ensure the realization of the show, cancels the performance of Werther on 17 November 2023.

Subscribers and ticket holders will be able to attend the other performances scheduled on 19, 24 and 26 November 2023, or request a refund. For any information, the Theater box office is available at the following numbers 010 5381 226 – 432.




The tormented love of the protagonist becomes an overwhelming sentiment.

Drame lyrique in four acts by Jules Massenet
with libretto by Edouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann,
dal romanzo di Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Characters and interpreters:

Jean-François Borras

Jérôme Boutillier

Le Bailli
Armando Gabba

Roberto Covatta

Marco Camastra

Caterina Piva

Hélène Carpentier

Emilio Cesar Leonelli

Daniela Aloisi

Soloists of the children’s choir
Maria Guano, Leonardo Loi, Nicoletta Storace, Erica Giordano, Denise Colla, Sofia Macciò, Lucilla Romano, Alice Manara, Giulia Nastase, Vittoria Trapasso

Conductor and répétiteur
Donato Renzetti

Director, set and costume design by
Dante Ferretti

Lighting designer
Daniele Nannuzzi

New production byFondazione Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova
co-produced byHNK – Croatian National Theatre of Zagabria

Orchestra, Treble Choir and Technicians of Opera Carlo Felice Genova
Treble Choirmaster Tanasini

Staging director
Luciano Novelli

Stage musical director
Simone Ori

Sirio Restani, Antonella Poli

Stage musical assistants
Andrea Gastaldo, Anna Maria Pascarella

Other Choir Master
Patrizia Priarone

Lighting Master
Riccardo Maria Ricci

Supertitle Master
Simone Giusto

Children’s Choir Master help
Enrico Grillotti

Head of musical archives
Simone Brizio

Scenic director
Alessandro Pastorino

Vice scenic director
Sumireko Inui

Consolle supervisor
Andrea Musenich

Stagehand foreman – Stage technical coordinator
Gianni Cois

Electrician foreman
Marco Gerli

Tooling foreman
Tiziano Baradel

Audio/video foreman
Walter Ivaldi

Head of tailoring, shoemaking, make-up and wigs
Elena Pirino

Collaborating director
Marina Bianchi

Director’s assistant
Fred Santambrogio

Scene Assistant
Massimo Razzi

Make-up and hair co-ordinator
Raul Ivaldi

Sets and props
Fondazione Teatro Carlo Felice

Costume designer
Tirelli /Trapetti Costumi

Un Passo di stile

Surtitles by
Enrica Apparuti

On Friday 10 November 2023, in the First Foyer of the Carlo Felice Theatre, the exhibition Once upon a time will be inaugurated, where until Sunday 26 it will be possible to admire some of Dante Ferretti’s pictorial works (the exhibition, made up of 11 works, can be visited exclusively in occasion of Werther’s shows). A world-famous set designer, Ferretti has collaborated with directors of the caliber of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini, Terry Gilliam, Franco Zeffirelli, Anthony Minghella, Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton and Brian De Palma, winning, among many recognitions, three Academy Awards for the scenography with The Aviator 2005, Sweeney Todd 2008 and Hugo Cabret 2012. His works and sketches have been exhibited at the Academy Awards, the Smithsonian Institution and the MoMa in New York.

Opera in brief
by Ludovica Gelpi

The genesis of Werther’s composition dates back to around 1885. Goethe’s epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther had achieved widespread diffusion throughout Europe, and Jules Massenet was, like many, a great admirer of it. Before him, others had set the novel to music (such as Gaetano Pugnani in 1790, Rodolphe Kreutzer in 1792 and Vincenzo Pucitta in 1802), but none of the previous ones had enjoyed great success. In 1985 Massenet, at the time one of the most represented French opera artists both at home and abroad, began working on the composition with the screenplay by Georges Hartmann on verses by Édouard Blau and Paul Millet. After two years of work, the almost completed work was proposed to one of the most successful impresarios in Paris, Léhon Carvalho, who however rejected the score. The world premiere was therefore held only several years later in Vienna, in the German version, on 16 February 1892. The definitive blessing came after the Paris revival of 1903, which was followed by an impressive number of performances throughout Europe, making Werther one of Massenet’s most beloved works, together with the almost contemporary Hérodiade, Manon and Thäis.
The libretto follows the plot of the novel, but some of the changes have a significant impact on the dramaturgy of the opera: the marriage of Charlotte and Albert is not born out of love, but due to a promise made by the girl to her dying mother (this determines a change in the emotional situation of Charlotte who, although not showing any resentment towards her husband, in fact declares her love only for Werther). Another important change is the final dialogue between Werther and Charlotte, the latter in fact manages to reach him before his death and declares her feelings to him. Finally, the significant presence of the children’s choir makes the theme of childhood and nostalgia for lost innocence central, defining a crucial character trait of the protagonist. The dramaturgy develops on several levels: the central nucleus, of a tragic nature, is represented by Werther and Charlotte. The two protagonists are the only characters to experience the entire story with full awareness, which unfolds around their love and therefore in a decidedly introverted dimension, aimed at their inner world. Albert, for his part, has a singular perspective: despite not being part of it, he approaches that inner world by first sensing Werther’s feelings, and then those of his wife. (It is important to note that, at the end of the third act, Albert consciously sends his guns to Werther, having understood their intended use). Sophie in turn senses the suffering of the protagonists, but does not grasp its extent. All the other characters (such as the burgomaster, Johann and Schmidt) participate in the events on a completely different level, offering a point of view that is benevolently indifferent – as completely unaware – to the internal turmoil of Werther and Charlotte. Great versatility is inherent in Massenet’s style, if with the tragic protagonists the composer fully expresses his talent for melodic lyricism, with the other characters he is freer to develop other expressive levels, lighter and more breezy, at times comical. The orchestral mixture is dense and vibrant, and forcefully conveys the emotional intensity of the narrative, at the same time the presence of moments of greater lightness allows for a more thoughtful and varied modulation of the tragic tension. Massenet’s music was sometimes not appreciated by contemporary critics because, in a moment of transition such as the end of the nineteenth century, when the premises for the avant-garde of the early twentieth century were developing in Paris, the composer seemed to be too tied to strictly nineteenth-century models like Verdi, Berlioz and Wagner. In Massenet, however, a more subtle experimental character was alive, later widely re-evaluated also by critics, which translated precisely into the ability to rework and update his own writing. One of the most fascinating aspects of the work is its temporal location: Goethe’s novel (published in 1774) is positioned at the beginning of the Sturm und Drang movement, it is one of the greatest literary examples and was a firm reference for the romantic art. Massenet’s musical transposition took place at the end of the century of Romanticism, and represents a rich synthesis of that nineteenth-century romantic tradition which had originated from the same literary source.