“An extraordinary work...insanely sumptuous, near-definitive…” exclaimed The Independent in 1980 about Oscar-winning film director John Schlesinger’s recent production of The Tales of Hoffmann. In 2016, this revival production passed any test of comparison to the original production with flying colors, featuring a spectacular cast of stars (including Vittorio Grigòlo, Thomas Hampson, and Sonya Yoncheva) who together brought to life the many fascinating characters of Hoffman’s three autobiographical tales, all set in a typical 19th-century German tavern.
Jacques Offenbach composed the score of this "fantastical opera" during the last ten years of his life and left it unfinished: its 1880 premiere included numerous modifications, with each successive production following in that mold until eventually a definitive version entered the operatic canon. Offenbach considered the opera his musical testament, suffusing it with lush melodies that remain unsurpassed to this day.
Lotfi Mansouri (stage director), Maurizio Arena (conductor) – With Plácido Domingo and Shirley Verrett – San Francisco Opera
Nikolaus Lehnoff (stage director), Carlo Rizzi (conductor) – With Eva-Maria Westbroek (Minnie), Lucio Gallo (Jack Rance) and Zoran Todorovich (Dick Johnson...