Acclaimed Werther in Essen

Sébastien Rouland is being acclaimed at the Aalto Theatre in Essen conducting the new production of Massenet's Werther (stage director: Carlos Wagner). Here are some extracts of the first reviews.

"And the best at the end: the Essener Phiharmonics play just enchantingly (even without Soltesz) under the baton of immaculate Sébastien Rouland." (Der Opernfreund; 02.11.2013)

"A bright spot is the feeling of the Philharmonics for the abundance of colours. Conductor Sébastien Rouland dares to have the dramatic blaze surge up to the incandescence in the third act. This Massenet reveals - instead of heavy perfume - subtle refinement in a detailed way." (Ruhrnachrichten, 01.12.2013)

"The French conductor Sébastien Rouland presented the premiere with big gestures and yet thoughtfully. After a rather harsh beginning, the Essen Philharmonics reach lyric sounds under his direction that do not get caught in the trap of sentiment. The moon music sounds tender and lulling, the dramatic parts are dark, sometimes roughenedly expressive. Emphasis and despair, depression and enthousiasm meet each other in the most beautiful way. (Revierpassagen, 02.12.2013)

"Singers and orchestra are unanimously acclaimed. It is also the Essen Philharmonic orchestra (particularly brass and woodwinds) who circumnavigate all the striking dangers delicately together with former Minkowski-assistant Sébastien Rouland: Massenet's pomp is being acutely analysed." (waz. 01.12.2013)

"One can savour this music with the eyes closed - as a dream, utopia, as structures of individual longing for something. This option is confirmed by conductor Sébastien Rouland at the Aalto theatre: Rarely have such fine, differenciated and from the innermost coming sounds been heard. Rouland's understanding of music, studied conscientiously with the in many nuances impressing Essen Philharmonics, makes this trip to Essen worth it at any time!" (, 30.11.2013)

"At the conductor's stand of the as usual well-playing Essen Philharmonic orchestra is the young French conductor Sébastien Rouland who conducts the partition with a lot of love and carefully carved detail." (Online Musik Magazin, 01.12.2013)

"Guest conductor Sébastien Rouland elicits delicious French sound colour with emotional surges of the Essen Philharmonics." (Ruhrnachrichten, 01.12.2013)

"The Essen Philharmonics under the musical direction of Sébastien Rouland played the dreamful character in the ouverture of the opera pretty well. Interacting with the soloists, the conductor shows great empathy and therewith makes it possible for the audience to follow the singing effortlessly." (Operapoint, 2.12.13)

"From a musical point of view, the performance is on a pretty high level. The Essen Philharmonics under their conductor Sébastien Rouland played themselves into a premiere mood from the beginning on and showed great empathy for this marvellous and profound score. As in the first prelude, with curtains closed - thanks for this, by the way, as well as for the repetition of this moment also during the other three preludes - the solo violin with its delicate pastel shades is floating into the main melody of this "drame lyrique", the melody of the moon, one immediately feels that this Massenet will succeed." (Opernnetz, 01.12.2013)

All dates of performances

23. Oktober 2013