Tales of Hoffman Taller Than Ever

Waste no pity on Offenbach because he has only one opera in the repertoire (and for dying before he could see it). This one’s a doozy.

Jacques Offenbach

TALES OF HOFFMAN. Opera by Jacques Offenbach, libretto by Jules Barbier. Cast: John Kaneklides (Hoffmann), Kathleen Shelton (The Muse / Nicklausse), Kelly Curtin (Olympia), Lara Lynn McGill (Antonia), Tara Curtis (Antonia’s Mother), Susan Hellman Spatafora (Guilietta). Stage Director: Karl W. Hesser; Dance choreographyer: Daryl Gray; Costume designer: Glenn Breed; Conductor and executive director: Mark Sforzini. Produced by St. Petersburg Opera.

Jacques Offenbach composed over 100 operas. But waste no pity on him because he has only one in the repertoire (and for dying before he could see it). Tales of Hoffman, based on three short stories by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, is immortal, right up there with (many of) Giuseppe Verdi’s operas. Any company that performs it must not only be faithful to its strikingly original music, but also tackle its adventurous staging. I’m happy to say the St. Petersburg Opera delivered the goods on both. And boy did it ever. Continue reading “Tales of Hoffman Taller Than Ever”

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