Since its premiere in 1892, 'Werther' has ranked among Jules Massenet's most admired and beloved scores; it has also proved the most enduring. He was inspired to compose the opera about the doomed poet during a visit to Wetzlar, the town where Goethe's story takes place. In first instance the work was rejected by the impresario Léon Carvalho, calling the subject dull and lugubrious. At last it was premiered in 1892 in a German translation at the 'Imperial Opera' in Vienna, and later there were successful productions in Weimar and Geneva. In January 1893 it finally opened, to great success, at the 'Opéra-Comique', where it ran for two seasons. Among the composer's operatic works, its popularity has remained second only to that of 'Manon'.