The action takes place in the vicinity of Wetzlar near Frankfurt Germany. Time 1772.
In the house of the judge heard ringing laughter of children Christmas songs. Charlotte getting ready for the ball which will be held in the outskirts of Wetzlar. First home visiting judge dreamy Werther. Going to visit. Werther but nobody notices - his thoughts and feelings completely mastered Charlotte. Along with it he goes to the ball. Everyone leaves. Night fell. Included suddenly came fiance Charlotte - Albert. Learning that it here still remember and love happy Albert leaves the house with the judges so that the next morning without notice to appear before the bride. With the ball back Charlotte and Werther. From her words he learns that Charlotte vowed late mother to marry Albert. Werther in despair.
Festive Sunday in Wetzlar the people hurried to the church. There also are directed by Albert and Charlotte. Appears yearning Werther. In vain his dreams of happiness. Charlotte - the wife of another. Albert tries to calm Werther. He replied that he now feels for Charlotte just a feeling of friendship. However after seeing it Werther reiterates her with passionate words of love. Charlotte coldly tells him to leave and asks perhaps separation heal his wound. After a moment`s hesitation he agrees. But will he have the strength to do it? Sophia approached Werther declares that permanently leaves Wetzlar.
On Christmas Eve Charlotte is sitting alone in the living room. She thinks of Werther reading his letters especially the frightening last letter full of despair and anguish. Sofia concern for the sisters trying to dispel her gloomy thoughts talking about the upcoming holidays. Suddenly enters Werther. In vain he swore to myself that would rather die than return to Charlotte. Now is the appointed day and now he stands in front of her. Charlotte is excited she tries to hide it but Werther reads in her eyes a love. Charlotte escapes from the clutches of Werther - it can not change the debt Werther is alone and he silenced only death can bring him comfort. On arrival Werther know Albert. At this time of Werther`s servant brings a letter asking to borrow a gun in the street. Overwhelmed by the order of Albert Charlotte meekly gave their servants. But when her husband leaves she rushes to the horror Werther to prevent catastrophe.
Mortally wounded Werther can not hear the words of Charlotte leaned over him. Finally he finds her. Charlotte in Werther begs forgiveness. He asks to be buried at the end of the cemetery where there are two limes under their shadow he would find eternal rest. Werther dies. From the house the judge can hear cheerful voices of children laughing and cheering guests celebrating Christmas.
Premiered in Vienna on February 16 1892 and in 1893 the `Werther` was shown Parisian theater comic opera.