Opera

Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann

Robert Carsen (stage director), Philippe Jordan (Music director) — With Ramón Vargas (Hoffmann), Roberto Tagliavini (Lindorf et al.), Ermonela Jaho (Antonia), Kate Aldrich (Giulietta), and Nadine Koutcher (Olympia)

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Cast

Robert Carsen — Stage director

Michael Levine — Set designer, costume designer

Jean Kalman — Lighting

Philippe Giraudeau — Choreographer

Ian Burton — Dramaturgy

Ramón Vargas — Hoffmann

Stéphanie d'Oustrac — The muse, Nicklausse

Roberto Tagliavini — Lindorf, Coppélius, Dapertutto, Miracle

Yann Beuron — Andrès, Cochenille, Frantz, Pitichinaccio

Nadine Koutcher — Olympia

Ermonela Jaho — Antonia

Kate Aldrich — Giulietta

Paris Opera Chorus

José Luis Basso — Chorus Master

Paris Opera Orchestra

Program notes

Let yourself be swept away by the magic of Offenbach's whimsical The Tales of Hoffmann! Under the baton of Philippe Jordan, the Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus perform the timeless score, while an all-star operatic lineup—led by tenor Ramón Vargas in the title role— breathe a spark of life into an unforgettable cast of characters created by German master of the macabre E.T.A. Hoffmann.

In a Nuremberg tavern, the poet Hoffmann (Vargas) recounts his latest amorous adventures and misadventures to a rapt crowd: the sad fate of the automaton Olympia (an excellent Nadine Koutcher), the tragic death of the young singer Antonia (Ermonela Jaho, heartbreaking and impeccable), and—featuring the ravishingly beautiful barcarolle "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour"—the scheming of courtesan Giulietta (a stunning Kate Aldrich), who wishes to steal Hoffmann's very reflection. The dynamic staging of this bewitching opera by Robert Carsen, leans on the work's phantasmagorical underpinnings, while the sets and costumes by Michael Levine keep the story grounded in reality. The boundary between the real and the imaginary gets blurrier and blurrier as our protagonist tells his tales and ultimately gives himself over once more to his Muse, poetry (played by Stéphanie d'Oustrac)…

Photo © Julien Benhamou

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