A friend in Scotland mentioned on the phone last night that she was going to see Massenet's opera Werther at Glasgow's Theatre Royal. I couldn't recall ever listening to it. Odd as I discovered that I have the CD and it's on my iPod. So now I have listened to it (again?). The opera is based on the German epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. I found it powerful but not really memorable (with apologies to any opera or Massenet aficionados reading). This is rather odd given that it is still, and has been for over a century, regularly performed around the world.
I followed the Massenet by Puccini's La Boheme which, as I type, is being played at full volume to suit my mood brought on by reading a blog post which brought too many memories and a morning spent taking a friend who has suffered a very severe stroke out for coffee and a drive.
So what have Massenet and Puccini got in common? They both wrote operas based on the the 1731 novel L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost. Nor were they were alone in writing operas or ballets on that work. I have the Puccini but not the Massenet. Guess what I'll be obtaining soon (besides the novel which I now have -for free - on my Kindle).