Rising Alternative

Opéra de Paris

Les Contes d'Hoffmann LIVE

Jacques Offenbach

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In his famous study on Offenbach, Kracauer summarized and established the legend of The Tales of Hoffmann: far more than just the spiritual testament of the composer, they were a true self-portrait of the man and the artist. Offenbach recognized himself in his hero and, just as the latter never managed to capture any of his lovers, the king of operetta was never able to write the great opera of which he dreamt. Kracauer even evokes a pact with death: “Let me complete my work in peace and I will follow you.” In the event, death did not respect the pact and it came too soon: The Tales of Hoffmann remained unfinished, a “Hoffmannesque” work in itself, both enigmatic and elusive. Appealing as it may be, the legend is incomplete. The last day of his life –October 5th, 1880 –Offenbach was not involved in some grave showdown with death, but darting back and forth across Paris and working as he had done every day for decades. Nevertheless, The Tales of Hoffmann exude a unique perfume, at once bizarre and visionary, sensual and morbid. The gentle yet vigilant muse, the haunted rapture of Hoffmann, the icy coloratura of Olympia, the deathly song of Antonia and the Baudelairian voluptuousness of Giulietta all make The Tales of Hoffmann the absolute masterpiece of its composer – just as he had wished…


ConductorTomas Netopil

DirectorRobert Carsen

CastStefano Secco | Kate Aldrich Franck Ferrari | Jane Archibald Ana Maria Martinez | Sophie Koch

Number of actsOpera with a prologue, 3 acts and an epilogue

Total running time210 min. approx not including applause

Running time by act1st part:1h11min | Intermission: 25 mn | 2nd part: 50 min | Intermission: 20 mn | 3rd part : 40 min

Sung inFrench

Date of performance2012-09-19

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