The young, melancholic poet Werther falls madly in love with the married Charlotte, but she is betrothed to another man. He obsesses over her, writing her letters constantly. Charlotte tries to convince Werther to forget her and to move on and find another love, yet Werther refuses as he can only think of loving Charlotte. Although Charlotte urges Werther to leave for a few months and not see her to help him move on, Werther returns months later filled with an even greater passion for Charlotte. Upon his return her realizes that Charlotte does loves him, but fighting her feelings, she still refuses Werther. It is this final refusal that leads Werther to commit suicide, leaving Charlotte deeply depressed. Werther’s passionate love for Charlotte has been enrapturing audiences for centuries, and is consistently one of the most performed operas in the world each year.
Werther guide sections