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Les Contes d'Hoffmann

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NationaltheaterMunich, Bavaria, Germany
October 07, 11, 15 at 19:00
Bavarian State Opera
Constantin TrinksConductor
Richard JonesDirector
Giles CadleSet Designer
Buki ShiffCostume Designer
Michael SpyresTenorHoffmann
Nina MinasyanSopranoOlympia
Sarah-Jane BrandonSopranoAntonia
Elsa BenoitSopranoGiulietta
Michèle LosierMezzo-sopranoNicklausse, The Muse
Alex EspositoBassLindorf, Coppélius, Miracle, Dapertutto
Kevin ConnersTenorCochenille, Frantz, Pitichinaccio
Martin SnellBassCrespel
Boris PrýglBass-baritoneHermann
Manuel GüntherTenorNathaniel
Christian RiegerBassPeter Schlemil
Ulrich ReßTenorSpalanzani
Noa BeinartMezzo-sopranoVoice of Antonia's Mother
Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Bayerisches Staatsorchester

The protagonist of the opera is E.T.A. Hoffmann, the prototype of the German romantic period artist: his life is an artwork, his lower depths, his doubts, his grand inspirations – his crises. And all of these are connected with: women. Hoffmann in the opera tells of three types of woman in his tales, the “lifeless doll with a heart of ice”, the “virtuoso”, ill and destined to die, as well as the “shameless courtesan”.

Jacques Offenbach’s opera fantastique, premièred in 1881, is based on the play of the same name by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, who drew from the biographies and works of E.T.A. Hoffmann, Adelbert von Chamisso and Alfred de Musset to create their own artist’s drama. It is not a literature opera – the protagonists from different romantic tales are connected to one another by a fictitious Hoffmann – but rather more of a message to the writer, telling him to make art his matter of the heart, or perhaps even open up his heart with brutal frankness.

Based on the edition by Michael Kaye and Jean-Christophe Keck, © Schott Music International

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