Les Contes d'Hoffmann (DVD) - The Royal Opera
Les Contes d'Hoffmann (DVD)
Composer: Jacques Offenbach
Release Date: 10/2003
Conductor: Georges Prêtre
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Convent Garden
Ensemble: Chorus of the Royal Opera House Convent Garden
Running Time: 210 mins.
Region: Region 1, NTSC, Formatted only for North America
Les Contes d'Hoffmann
After becoming the toast of Paris with his witty operettas,
Jacques Offenbach set out to create a more serious work. He chose as his source a successful play based on the stories of visionary German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann. Three of these tales—at once profound, eerie, and funny—were unified in the play by a narrative frame that made Hoffmann the protagonist of his own stories. Each episode recounts a catastrophic love affair, and throughout the opera, Hoffmann is dogged by a diabolical nemesis and accompanied by his faithful friend Nicklausse. Premiere: Opéra Comique, Paris, 1881.
Jacques Offenbach (1819–1880)
The action of the prologue and epilogue takes place in an unnamed German city, in “Luther’s tavern.” The tavern setting (as well as the lurking presence of a diabolical client) recalls the Faust legend and casts an otherworldly ambience on the subsequent episodes. Each of these flashbacks occurs in evocative settings representing a cross-section of European cultures: Paris (Act I), Munich (Act II), and Venice (Act III).
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