Ever fall in love with the wrong person? -- Werther from Minnesota Opera

by John Birge, Minnesota Public Radio
January 20, 2012
Tenor, James Valenti (MPR Photo/Nate Ryan) Tenor, James Valenti (MPR Photo/Nate Ryan) Mezzo-soprano Roxana Constantinescu (MPR Photo/Nate Ryan) Mezzo-soprano Roxana Constantinescu (MPR Photo/Nate Ryan) Conductor, Christoph Campestrini (MPR Photo/Nate Ryan) Tenor James Valenti, mezzo-soprano Roxana Constantinescu, and conductor Christoph Campestrini (MPR Photo/Nate Ryan)
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St. Paul, Minn. — Ever fall in love with the wrong person?

I posed this question to an audience of opera lovers recently, and everyone in the room immediately beamed — or pouted — with recognition and understanding. It's a universal condition, and it's all you need to know to enter the world of Massenet's opera Werther.

The sympathetic souls at that talk were there to learn more about the Minnesota Opera's production of Werther, which opens January 28th. Tenor James Valenti is back to sing the title role, paired for the first time with the exciting mezzo-soprano from the Vienna State Opera, Roxana Constantinescu as his unavailable lover Charlotte.

They came to visit Classical MPR the next day, to sing a heart-melting duet, and talk about what makes Werther is so melodramatic, and why Charlotte's heart stays true to him, even after she must marry another man.

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