Piotr Beczala Encores Liceu Audiences in Massenet’s ‘Werther’ [Watch]

By Francisco Salazar

Piotr Beczala encored “Pourquoi me réveiller” yesterday during the opening night performance of Massenet’s “Werther” at the Grand Theatre Liceu in Barcelona.

The famed aria is one of the showstopping pieces in the opera but it is rare to hear an encore in this work. However, Beczala is the latest tenor in the past month to encore the aria. In December Juan Diego Florez encored the piece at the Teatro Communale di Bologna where he received rave reviews.

While the encore is not very popular in modern culture, he joins both Florez and Rolando Villazon as recent tenors who have offered an encore at the Liceu in Barcelona.  Florez gave an encore in the famed aria “Ah! Mes Amis,” from Donizetti’s “La Fille du Regiment,” which features nine High C’s while Villazon offered an encore in the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from Donizetti’s “L’Elisir D’Amore.”

This year’s production of “Werther” is the first time in 25 years that the company is presenting the opera. The last time the work was shown was in 1987 and 1992 when Alfredo Kraus took on the title role and excited audiences. Beczala is one of the leading tenors singing the Werther and has been making waves for his interpretation for years. The revival includes Anna Caterina Antonacci in the role of Charlotte with Alain Altinoglu conducting. The production is by Willy Decker.

Beczala continues singing Werther through Feb. 4.