The Lyric Stage: March 4: Massenet's Therese

Mar 4, 2018

  

Jules Massenet composed in many genres but is best known for his 35 operas, mostly Manon and Werther. The opera we have for you this week is Therese. It's in 2 short acts with a libretto by Jules Claretie. It  premiered in Monte Carlo in 1907, near the end of Massenet's life.

The story takes place in 1792 and 1793 during the French Revolution and concerns Thérèse, who is torn between duty to her husband André, a moderate Girondist revolutionist, and her lover, the nobleman Armand.

It is one of Massenet's least known operas and has been mostly neglected except for a few revivals in the last 30 years and three recordings, including the one we have selections from this week, which was first released in 1974 and recently re-mastered and re-issued. Huguette Tourangeau, Louis Quillico and Ryland Davies head the cast. Richard Bonynge conducts the New Philarmonia Orchestra and Chorus.