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Werther is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann.

The original text

It is loosely based on Goethe's epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, which was based both on fact and on Goethe's own early life.

The opera received its premiere on 16 February 1892 (in a German version translated by Max Kalbeck) at the Imperial Theatre Hofoper in Vienna.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

2008: Presented by Cape Town Opera (7–14June)


Wayne Muller. 2018. A reception history of opera in Cape Town: Tracing the development of a distinctly South African operatic aesthetic (1985–2015). Unpublished PhD thesis.

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