The exceptional nature and high artistic quality of this performance justify publication of this video even though the filming was done only to preserve the performance for Teatro Regio's archives and therefore offers few close-up shots and occasionally unclear lighting.
Bregenzs Tales of Hoffmann is different from everything you saw before. The New York Times praised the thoughtfulness and creativity of Stefan Herheims new production, devised by the director as a search for ones own self in a sparkling drag show. A shining-toned (NYT) Hoffmann is embodied by tenor Daniel Johansson in the title role. He is supported by a fantastic cast: Rachel Frenkel is positively ideal as Muse and Niklausse (Kurier), Kerstin Avemo as Olympia is endowed with brilliant, cheekily extemporized coloraturas (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), Michael Volle sings the parts of Lindorf, Coppelius, Dr. Miracle and Dappertutto, the works four villains, with warmth and intensity (NYT) and Mandy Fredrich is a finelyphrased Antonia (Kurier).
Wolf Hoffmann is back with his second solo offering many years after his first solo record ‘Classical’. And much like the first, he tries to explore the idea of classical arrangements interpreted as metal…
By Jacques Offenbach. Seeking to exorcise the failure of his current love affair, the poet Hoffmann tells the story of his three past loves - the doll-like Olympia, the high-class courtesan Giulietta, and the ambitious but delicate Antonia - and recalls how each was thwarted by the evil influence of his rival. In this production by the distinguished film director, John Schlesinger, with spectacular designs by Maria Björnson and William Dudley, Offenbach's nightmare world is brought to life. The all-star cast is headed by Placido Domingo as Hoffmann: his three loves are Ileana Cotrubas, Agnes Baltsa and Luciana Serra and the manifestations of his rival are sung by Geraint Evans, Robert Lloyd, Siegmund Nimsgern and Nicola Ghiuselev. The score, which includes such favorites as the "Barcarolle" and the "Doll's Song", is conducted by Georges Prêtre.
Warner Classics & Erato DVD catalogue already contains several characteristically stylish and imaginative productions by the French opera director Laurent Pelly: Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Massenet’s Cendrillon, Donizetti’s La Fille du régiment, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Handel’s Giulio Cesare. The last three all star Natalie Dessay, and now she and Pelly are reunited once again, this time for Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, staged at Barcelona’s Liceu opera house in early 2013.
It would be hard to find an opera in any area of the repertory that presents so many textual problems as Les conies d'Holfmann, largely stemming from the fact that the composer died four months before the premiere early in 1881, leaving the score incomplete. The traditional text, bringing in extra material, much of it unauthentic, and leaving out a lot, was only established this century. Arthur Hammond with the Carl Rosa Company was a pioneer in attempting to sort out a more acceptable text, and his work formed the basis of the English National Opera production at the Coliseum and also the Richard Bonynge recording for Decca. Since then the discovery of no less than 1,250 autograph pages allowed Fritz Oeser to produce his monumental edition, as used extensively in the Cambreling recording for EMI (12/88 —nla)…
Offenbach's masterpiece, based on three stories by the German author E.T.A. Hoffmann, is both a three-act opera and a trilogy of taut, individual dramas, all rolled into one.This Geneva production from 2002 features baritone Marc Laho in the tour-de-force triple villain roles, with three different standout sopranos as the tales' three heroines. French producer Olivier Py caused an uproar among Geneva operagoers with a staging of Tales of Hoffmann that features full-frontal male and female nudity and simulated on-stage lesbian and heterosexual sex.