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Brown Theater


Jan. 27-  Feb. 10, 2023

She loves him not

The lovesick yearnings of the tortured young poet Werther lead to his tragic fate in Massenet’s lush opera, which returns to HGO for the first time in 40 years with this production from French director Benoît Jacquot, making his HGO debut. After Werther escorts the lovely Charlotte to a ball, he falls hopelessly in love with her, but she is engaged to Albert, with no intention of breaking things off. Unable to conceive of life without her, Werther grows ever more despondent as he continues his attempts to woo the object of his affections, who doesn’t love him back—or does she? Matthew Polenzani, one of the world’s most distinguished tenors, leads the cast as Werther in his long-anticipated Houston debut. With mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, an international star and winner of three Grammy awards, debuting alongside, and world-renowned conductor Robert Spano taking the podium, audiences won’t want to miss this chance to see a cast of legends perform a rare psychological drama. 

A co-production of Opera de Paris and Royal Opera House.

Audience Warning: The opera WERTHER contains content about suicide. There will be gunshots simulated on stage.  

If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, dial the 24-hour U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

  • Price Range
    $20 - $210
  • Age
    This production contains sensitive content; not suitable for children.
  • Running Time
    2 Hours 52 Minutes. Includes 2 intermissions.
  • Language
    Sung in French with projected English translation.

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Cast & Creative

Isabel Leonard


Patrick Carfizzi

The Bailiff

Ricardo Garcia


Cory McGee


Emily Treigle


Luke Sutliff


Creative Team
Robert Spano


Geneviève Dufour

Associate Director

Charles Edwards

Set and Original Lighting Designer

Christian Gasc

Costume Designer

Michael James Clark

Associate Lighting Designer

Adam Noble

Intimacy / Fight Director

Karen Reeves

Children Preparation

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Children's Chorus

Upcoming Productions

Production Sponsors

Premier Guarantor
  • Diane and Harlan Stai

Grand Underwriter
  • The Brown Foundation

  • Terrylin G. Neale

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