Although this Werther comes late in his career, Vanzo, a great favorite, remains an impeccable stylist and I find his plangent melancholy as the haunted poet irresistible. While Troyanos recorded the role with Alfredo Kraus for EMI and there’s another early “pirate” also with Kraus from Chicago 1971, her pairing here with Vanzo may be even better.

After its acclaimed concert version of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust,  the Met next turns to another French adaptation of a classic work by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. On March 16 Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads Joyce DiDonato, Ying Fang (later Erin Morley), Piotr Beczala and Etienne Dupuis (with Joshua Hopkins to follow) for the season’s second Massenet.

Massenet: Werther

Palais Garnier
6 July 1984
In-house recording

Charlotte — Tatiana Troyanos
Sophie — Christine Barbaux
Werther — Alain Vanzo
Albert — Gino Quilico
Le Bailli — Jean-Louis Soumagnas
Johann — Jean-Philippe Courtis
Schmidt — Michel Sénéchal

Conductor — Gabriel Chmura

Werther can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 files will appear in your download directory.

In addition to his magnificent Des Grieux in Manon opposite Beverly Sills, Vanzo can be heard on previous Trove Thursdays as Bizet’s Don Odoardo and Nadir.

In addition, over 300 other podcast tracks are always available from Apple Podcasts and iTunes for free, or via any RSS reader.