Against every better judgment I could possibly summon under the circumstances, Mitisek has, indeed, worked out a conflation of these two trajectories down the dark road of heartbreak and self-destruction, and played them off against each other without violating the integrity of either.
For staging there was a cluttered attic room, a bedand scattered trash... Unfeeling, rejecting Lotte was done in dumb show by a dancer, Jennifer Hart Jackson. At the very end, when the dead Werther lay in her lap, she extended one hand in a caress – a small directorial touch that I found extremely moving. Michelle Schumann was the pianist, behind a scrim. Midway,...the slow movement of Schubert’s last piano sonata, which, in this context, became the saddest music in the world – and also, at that moment at least, the most beautiful.