Werther Landesbühnen Sachsen © Carsten Beier

WERTHER

Drame lyrique of Jules Massenet

"Werther", the highly emotional work by the French late Romantic Massenet, a master of lyric opera, was first performed in Vienna in 1892. Even though this opera deals very freely with the motifs of Goethe's epistolary novel of 1774: The basic conflict is the same here: Werther has fallen in love with Charlotte, who, however, had to promise her dying mother that she would marry Albert. The fact that Charlotte suppresses her feelings for Werther in favour of a marriage of convenience drives him to despair. Werther forcibly keeps himself away from the family, but when he is finally invited to the Christmas feast and forces Charlotte to confess her love, he has gone too far! Aware that there can be no fulfilment for their love under the given bourgeois circumstances, Werther borrows pistols from Albert for a "long journey"...

Author: Landesbühnen Sachsen

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FROM MAGDEBURG TO DRESDEN

After six years at the Magdeburg Theatre, Johannes Wollrab returned to his hometown of Dresden at the beginning of the 2022/2023 season as a new ensemble member of the Landesbühnen Sachsen. His roles in this season will include the Father in "Hansel and Gretel", the Baritone in "Carmina Burana", King Gunther ("Die lustigen Nibelungen"), Marullo ("Rigoletto"), Albert ("Werther"), Don Giovanni, Prince Vladimir ("The Circus Princess") and Prince Ottokar ("Der Freischütz").

HUGO WOLF & JOACHIM RINGELNATZ

The composer Hugo Wolf and the poet Joachim Ringelnatz never met. While Wolf was already breathing his last in an insane asylum in 1903, the young Ringelnatz - still under the name Hans Bötticher - had just signed on as a cabin boy on a sailing ship. What would these men, who both dissected the turbulence of life and love with such astuteness and irony, have had to say to each other? To find out exactly that, Jenny Gerlich and Johannes Wollrab, who studied together in Dresden, lost sight of each other for a few years and then reunited as ensemble members at the Magdeburg Theatre, set out on a quest: Well-acquainted with the art songs of Hugo Wolf, they let pieces from his "Italian Songbook" enter into a lively dialogue with texts by Joachim Ringelnatz. Singing, they feel their way into the musical and lyrical selves of Wolf's and Ringelnatz's cosmos and undertake an emotional journey: From falling in love to everyday conflicts to reconciliation, they go through all the stages of a romantic relationship - couples therapy has rarely been so entertaining!

FOUR STRINGS WITH ONE BARITONE:
Carl Loewe Quintet

Two Dresden musicians, Johannes Wollrab and Ronald Vitzthum, who have never met in their hometown of Dresden, meet for the first time quite unexpectedly at the Magdeburg Theatre in 2020. The singer and the double bass player are united by their enthusiasm for the German art song of the 19th century and their special interest in the compositions of Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann. Even during his studies, Ronald Vitzthum arranged individual songs by Schubert and Schumann in various versions for string instruments and voice. In Magdeburg, he is now creating new arrangements, including Schubert's "Im Frühling" or "Der Erlkönig" for four strings and baritone.

​In the unusual instrumentation with violin, viola, cello and double bass, new sound and interpretation possibilities of the original piano accompaniment unfold and invite a new musical discovery of the multi-layered text-music connections of the compositions. In addition to songs by Schubert and Schumann, the programme includes works by Johannes Brahms, Carl Loewe, Richard Wagner and Gustav Mahler, complemented by chamber music by Brahms and Giacomo Puccini. The string ensemble around Ronald Vitzthum is completed by Aisel Kapun, Dorothea Schröder and Marcel Körner. For the five musicians, it is the unconditional wish to present the art song and selected chamber music pieces in new tonal variations and individual interpretations to a broad audience and to bring them closer in an entertaining way.