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Les Contes d’Hoffmann © Wiener Staatsoper GmbH / Michael Pöhn

Offenbach Les Contes d’Hoffmann

From 09 May TO 21 May 2021
Wiener Staatsoper - Wien
Program

Offenbach : Les Contes d’Hoffmann

Cast
  • Conductor
    Axel Kober
  • Director
    Andrei Serban
  • Performers
    Hoffmann: Juan Diego Flórez
    Lindorf/Coppélius/ Dr. Miracle/Dapertutto: Erwin Schrott
    Olympia: Sabine Devieilhe
    Antonia: Tamuna Gochashvili
    Giulietta: Louise Alder
    La Muse/Nicklausse: Michèle Losier
    Andrès, Cochenille, Frantz, Pitichinaccio: Thomas Ebenstein
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Wiener Staatsoper - Wien Location Opernring 2 - 1010 Wien Autriche

  • Venue's Capacity: 1709

The Vienna State Opéra is much more than just a local institution; it is a vital part of the city's identity and a national landmark.

 

As of the 17th century, the Hapsburgs lavishly patronized the opéra. Family members Ferdinand III and Leopold I composed for the théâtre, while Charles VI tried his hand at conducting the orchestra, and the Empress Maria-Theresa often mingled with the corps de ballet.

 

During the 19th century, the Karntnerthor-Theater was demolished and the présent building was constructed on the famous " Ring ". It was here that Mahler, with the help of the set designer Alfred RoUer, imposed a new style of performance, based on audacious stagings and a very précise interprétation ofthe score, which demanded countless rehearsals.

 

After the fall of the Hapsburgs, Richard Strauss took over the reins of the newly baptized Vienna State Opéra. Curiously enough, only one of Strauss'operas, THE WOMAH WITHOUT A SHADOW, was premiered in Vienna. Clemens Krauss and Karl Bôhm were to follow in his footsteps. Under Bôhm's direction, the Opera created its own Company, which was to serve as a model for several générations. Even the bombs that destroyed the opéra house in 1945 could not prevent singer s such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, Sena Jurinac or Erich Kunz from becoming legendary.

 

One musn't think that the Viennese applaud only their homegrown stars. In 1955, when Maria Callas came to sing LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR in the reconstructed building with Karajan conducting, the public blocked traffic to pay tribute to the diva... in the street! Karajan succeeàed Karl Bôhm, and invited many international stars to corne sing on the Viennese stage. Works were henceforth sung in their language of origin, and coproductions with La Scala permitted the disco-very of voices such as that of Mirella Freni in LA BOHEME.

 

Ioan Holender has suceeded in deftly combining these international distributions with an ensemble System. He has scheduled many works never heard on the Viennese stage, which are now included in the Opera's répertoire, such as Verdi's JERUSALEM and Enesco's OEDIPE, furthering a policy instated under Claudio Abbado's brilliant direction. Whatever changes may now occur, the Opera will continue to stage at least 300 performances per season (an absolute world record ren-dered feasible thanks to the în-house technical crew, which hires no less than 250 people), and the public will continue to applaud the finest orchestra any amateur could wish for in the pit : the Vienna Philharmonie !

Wiener Staatsoper

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

Wiener Staatsoper

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