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Patricia Petibon

Offenbach Les Contes d’Hoffmann

From 14 December TO 02 January 2020
La Monnaie - Bruxelles
Program

Offenbach : Les Contes d’Hoffmann

4 h 40
Cast
  • Conductor
    Alain Altinoglu
  • Director
    Krzysztof Warlikowski
  • Performers
    Hoffmann: Eric Cutler
    Lindorf/Coppélius/ Dr. Miracle/Dapertutto: Gábor Bretz
    Stella/Olympia/Antonia/Giuletta: Patricia Petibon
    La Muse/Nicklausse: Michèle Losier
    Andrès, Cochenille, Frantz, Pitichinaccio: Loïc Félix
Details on the Performance

In this fantastic opera by Jacques Offenbach, the poet E.T.A. Hoffmann becomes the protagonist of three of his own tales. His love affair with the Olympia doll, with the seriously ill singer Antonia and with the courtesan Giulietta, each fail to meet the gap between a fragile dream and a hard reality. Offenbach composed his first real opera shortly before his death, after a life devoted to the operetta. Of this kind, he has taken up the melodic richness that has consecrated it, but here humor gives way to a melancholic poetry woven of vain hopes and broken ideals. The universal quest for authentic love, which comes up against superficial projections of the unconscious, makes this opera a timeless work. The director Krzysztof Warlikowski and the conductor Alain Altinoglu work to unveil the essence of a work where time and space are only the remains of a destroyed mosaic.

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Included: one program of the performance per booking.

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis
  • Videos

La Monnaie - Bruxelles Location Place de la Monnaie - 1000 Bruxelles Belgique

  • Venue's Capacity: 1152

The Venue's History in few words …

The history of La Monnaie, Brussels' famous opera house, dates back to 1695, when, after a large part of the city was bombed by the French, the tresorer of the last Spanish gover nor of the Netherlands obtained permission to construct a theatre on the bared site of a workshop where coins were formerly struck.

 

In 1700, a production of Lully's ATYS inaugurated the Monnaie stage, where opera and theatre performances were alternatively billed, and where, several years later. Napoleon came to hear the famous Talma recite the lines of Racine's BRITTANICUS. The French Emperor thought of constructing a new building just behind the old one. But Brussels soon fell under the reign of the Dutch King, who took over his plans. The second theatre, inaugurated in 1819, would nonetheless cause the Dutch sovereign quite a few headaches. During a performance of Auber's LA MUETTE BE PORTICI, for example, part of the overcrowded audience assembled in front of the building. The artists encored the opera's famous duo that pledges allegiance to the fatherland, and when the hero sang "To arms!" the crowd burst into the city. It was the 30th of August 1830, and the revolution that would lead to Belgian indépendance had begun.

 

The present hall was constructed in 1856, after the preceeding building was burnt down by one of the fires that have so often marked the history of European concert halls. From this time on. La Monnaie forged a reputation of being a crossroads of creation and modernity, whose audacious billing compensated that of the more conservative Parisian stage. Verdi, Wagner (heard here as nowhere else outside of Germany) or Bizet's CARMEN (which the French at first shunned), all resounded within the theatre's walls.

 

Since the beginning of our century, La Monnaie has never hesitated to programme works by such revolutionaries as Stravinsky, Berg, Britten, and Prokofiev, long before other opera houses welcomed them. As of 1960, the theatre's reputation was reinforced by the creation of Maurice Béjart's Twentieth Century Ballet, and consecrated under Gerard Mortier's management (1981-1991).

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The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Les Contes d’Hoffmann

LES CONTES D'HOFFMAN, THE LEGENDARY GERMAN OPERA OF COMEDY AND TRAGEDY

The Opernhaus Zurich's version of the legendary German opera, translated into English as The Tales of Hoffmann brings one of the best loved works of the nineteenth century to the European stage.

This beloved opera by Jacques Offenbach is based on five short stories by the German romantic author E.T.A. Hoffmann. Premiering in 1881, Les contes d'Hoffmann has been a fixture of the opera circuit because of the interesting nature of the stories that make up the prologue, three acts and epilogue.

HISTORY

Les contes d'Hoffmann is set in the nineteenth century and focuses on the life of E.T.A. Hoffmann himself as the main character in the opera. Asked by his competitor, Lindorf to tell those gathered in a tavern about his three great loves, Hoffmann does so through portions of the stories he published during the nineteenth century romantic period of German literature.

Act 1

After being challenged to reveal his great loves by Lindorf in the epilogue, Hoffmann tells the story of Der Sandmann. With one of the most famous songs in the opera, The Doll Song, this popular act tells the story of Hoffmann falling in love with a mechanical robot known as Olympia. Not knowing she is a robot, Hoffmann falls in love and is then ridiculed when the inventor of the doll tears her apart over his unpaid fees.

Act 2

Known as Antonia, the second act of the opera details the doomed love Hoffmann has for Antonia, who has been hidden from Hoffmann by her father, Crespel. Based on the story Rath Krespel, the father of Antonia briefly explains that his daughter will die is she sings again because of an unnamed illness. To protect her from Hoffmann, who encourages Antonia in her singing career he has hidden his daughter from the author. With Hoffmann trying to free his lover from the house the mysterious Dr. Miracle sets out to destroy Antonia by encouraging her to sing, instead of curing her of her illness.

Act 3

A more mysterious tale than the others in the opera, the third act tells the story of Hoffmann's time in Venice. Here, Hoffmann falls in love with Giuilietta, a courtesan who has promised to steal the reflection of Hoffmann, as she has stolen the shadows and reflections of other men before him. Spurred on by Captain Daperutto, Giuilietta steals Hoffmann's reflection before tragedy strikes to end Hoffmann's last tale of love.

MAIN ROLES

E.T.A. Hoffmann, the poet and author, tenor
Olympia, the doll, soprano
Antonia, young girl and Hoffmann's lover, soprano
Giuilietta, courtesan, soprano
Stella, singer, soprano
Lindorf, Coppelius, Dr. Miracle, Dapertutto, the embodiments of evil, bass-baritone

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