‘It’s a tragedy, a grand tragedy and we love that in the opera,’ Joyce DiDonato smiles as she shares her thoughts on Massenet’s heart-wrenching work, Werther.

The American mezzo-soprano is currently performing on the Covent Garden stage in the role of Charlotte, a young girl who makes a promise to her mother on her deathbed that she will marry a man named Albert.

A decision, Joyce believes, she would be happy to stick with until her life is turned upside-down by the arrival of a romantic young poet:

‘She’s very practical, and she’s not bitter about anything; it’s a normal existence and it’s fine,’ she explains. ‘And then this hurricane, Werther, arrives in this small town and I think he unlocks this world to her that sincerely she didn’t even know existed.’

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