The lovesick yearnings of the tortured young poet Werther lead to his tragic fate in Massenet’s lush opera, which returns to HGO for the first time in 40 years with this production from French director Benoît Jacquot, making his HGO debut. After Werther escorts the lovely Charlotte to a ball, he falls hopelessly in love with her, but she is engaged to Albert, with no intention of breaking things off. Unable to conceive of life without her, Werther grows ever more despondent as he continues his attempts to woo the object of his affections, who doesn’t love him back—or does she? Matthew Polenzani, one of the world’s most distinguished tenors, leads the cast as Werther in his long-anticipated Houston debut. With mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, an international star and winner of three Grammy awards, debuting alongside, and world-renowned conductor Robert Spano taking the podium, audiences won’t want to miss this chance to see a cast of legends perform a rare psychological drama.