Liceu 2016-17 Preview: Piotr Beczala Sings Second French Role in One Year As He Takes on Massenet’s ‘Werther’

By David Salazar

Piotr Beczala takes on the role of Massenet’s “Werther” on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, kick starting the Gran Teatre del Liceu’s run of the famed opera.

Beczala took on the challenging role in Salzburg in August 2015 before reprising it at the Opéra National de Paris exactly one year ago. His return to the role on Sunday will be the second time since then that he has taken on a French role. Through his busy 2016, the Polish tenor jumped from Verdi to Wagner before taking on Gounod’s “Faust in Salzburg. He then went back to more Italian repertoire, singing both “La Boheme” and “Lucia di Lammermoor” between September and December 2016.

He gets seven performances in Barcelona before his run ends on February 3rd. Alternating the role with him will be Josep Bros.

Beczala will share the stage with Anna Caterina Antonacci as Charlotte. The mezzo soprano has sung the role of the ill-fated heroine just once in the last few years. She took it on in Buenos Aires back in April 2015 and will reprise it in Valencia in May of 2017. Interestingly, Charlotte is one of the “main stream” roles that she has sung over the last few years, the title role in “Carmen” being the other. Otherwise, the singer has showcased her musical genius in such rare operas as “La Voix Humaine,” “Penelope,” “La Ciociara,” “Il segreto di Susanna” and “Iphigenie en Tauride.”

Nora Gubisch will alternate with Antonacci.

Elena Sancho Pereg and Sonia de Munck will alternate Sophie while Joan Martín-Royo and Carlos Daza will both take on the role of Albert.

Alain Altinoglu conducts a production by Willy Decker that originated at the Oper Frankfurt.