Opera 2023 - 2024

Les Contes d’Hoffmann

Jacques Offenbach

Duration

3H05

Language

Français

Surtitles

FR • NL • EN • DE

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The story

« Hoffmann’s tragedy is not that he falls in love with a woman who mocks him every time, but that he pursues the same woman over and over again, as he says in the prologue: Yes, Stella! Three women in one woman! Three souls in one soul! Artist, maiden, and courtesan!»
Catherine Scholler, Forum Opéra, 2003


FANTASTIC
MELANCHOLY
AESTHETICS
UNHAPPY LOVE


Libretto by Jules Barbier et Michel Carré

The poet Hoffmann, lover of the singer Stella, tells the unhappy story of his three former loves. In Paris, he loved Olympia, the beautiful singing mechanical doll whom he took for a real girl. In Munich, he fell in love with Antonia, the diva condemned to die at the slightest vocalization. In Venice, he fell in love with Giulietta who stole his reflection and ran away…

The last work of the Mozart of the Champs-Élysées, Jacques Offenbach, is the only one that is completely operatic. Based on a play by Jules Barbier and Michel Carre, itself inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s famous Fantastic Tales, the work is particularly inspired, although unfinished. Legend has it that the composer died with the score in his hands. The Tales of Hoffmann will sometimes be mutilated or completed in order to present the masterpiece on stage. Recently, some musicological discoveries have been able to restore the essential parts that were missing. Although an amputee version was created posthumously in 1881, it was not until 1911 that the complete masterpiece in five acts, Offenbach’s sublime testament, was discovered.

The opera has a complex psychological structure that integrates, through different characters, all the facets of human phantasmagoria in the exact spirit of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s original Fantastic Tales. But Les Contes d’Hoffmann, it is also unforgettable music, like the famous Barcarolle or the great aria of the doll Olympia, “Les Oiseaux dans la Charmille”, which made this work one of the most performed French operas in the world.

  • LAST PERFORMANCE AT THE ORW
    NOVEMBER 2003
  • COPRODUCTION
    OPÉRA ROYAL DE WALLONIE-LIÈGE
    OPÉRA DE LAUSANNE
    NEW ISRAELI OPERA
    TEL-AVIV-YAFO

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