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  • Francesco Meli as Werther becomes infatuated with Sonia Ganassi as Charlotte, who is engaged to another man, in "Werther." The Washington National Opera production closes May 27. (Scott Suchman/Washington National Opera)

    'Werther' is a feel-good tragic tale

    For the first time since 1996, the Washington National Opera is bringing Jules Massenet's tragic opera, "Werther," to the Kennedy Center Opera House. The company's production stars the exciting tenor Francesco Meli as the opera's title character, a Romantic poet doomed by love.

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  • Mr. Meli also notes the theme of self-sacrifice.

    'Werther' is a feel-good tragic tale →

  • "Werther is a young man who wants to be happy, but he can't," he adds. "It is not that he cannot love, it's that he loves perhaps too well. Whatever he loves he loves too much, his love is too intense. And so it is a love that becomes impossible for him on this earth."

    'Werther' is a feel-good tragic tale →

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