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Werther Without You: Jonas Kaufmann Cut Off in Metropolitan Opera's Massenet Simulcast, Peter Gelb Blames Satellites

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Mar 18, 2014 02:51 PM EDT

Like a chord unresolved, or getting mugged just before you get home, so, too, did Massenet's Werther get undercut on the final note.

One of the more heart-wrenching endings in Francophone opera, the would-be dramatic death of German tenor Jonas Kaufmann's title character found little actual sympathy no thanks to the Met's bumbling tech department.

Accidental? Maybe. Frustrating? Absolutely, as the glitch left most theaters silent for the last seven minutes.

So, in this instance, at least, no, the live broadcast was not good for classical music.

And, as we've come to expect, Twitter was there to confirm.

Again, as to be expected, the Met released a statement:

"The Metropolitan Opera regrets that due to a technical problem with the satellite carrying the audio feed, the sound in today's transmission of Werther was interrupted for the last seven minutes of the performance, which affected the majority of U.S. theaters."

Hmm, sounds like Peter Gelb needs to get on Verizon. 

In all fairness, though, the Met posted Werther's true ending to their website on Sunday--claiming that the encore performance wasn't slighted.

Be that as it may, here's a 2005 performance with the ending in tact. It's better that way.

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TagsThe Metropolitan Opera, Werther, Jules Massenet

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