Opera Scotland

Tales of Hoffmann Les Contes d'Hoffmann

Tours by decade

1910s - 8 tours

1910 - Beecham Opera Comique Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1911 - Quinlan Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1914 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1915 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1916 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1917 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1920s - 6 tours

1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1927 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1930s - 2 tours

1930 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1938 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1940s - 4 tours

1944 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1945 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1946 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1947 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1950s - 5 tours

1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1955 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1956 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1957 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1980s - 1 tour

1986 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration

1990s - 1 tour

1998 - Tayside Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2000s - 4 tours

2010s - 2 tours

2011 - Fife Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2015 - Opera Camerata
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration

Tours by location

Scotland, UK - 71 entries

1910 - Beecham Opera Comique Company
Glasgow
1910 - Beecham Opera Comique Company
Edinburgh
1911 - Quinlan Opera Company
Glasgow
1911 - Quinlan Opera Company
Edinburgh
1914 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1914 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1915 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1915 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1916 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1916 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1917 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1917 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Perth
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Perth
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Perth
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1927 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1930 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1938 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1944 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1945 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1945 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1945 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1946 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1946 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1946 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1947 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1947 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1955 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1956 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1956 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1957 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1986 - Scottish Opera
Dundee
1986 - Scottish Opera
Dumfries
1986 - Scottish Opera
Elgin, Moray
1986 - Scottish Opera
Ayr
1986 - Scottish Opera
Stirling
1986 - Scottish Opera
Dunfermline
1998 - Tayside Opera
Dundee
2009 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Glasgow
2009 - University of Dundee Continuing Education
Perth
2009 - Metropolitan Opera
Galashiels
2009 - Metropolitan Opera
Edinburgh
2009 - Metropolitan Opera
Aberdeen
2011 - Fife Opera
Kirkcaldy
2015 - Opera Camerata
Edinburgh

Music
Jacques Offenbach (born Cologne, 20 June 1819; died Paris, 5 October 1880)

Text
Jules Barbier & Michel Carré.

Source
Several tales by E T A Hoffmann (German 1776-1822).

Premieres
First performance: Paris (Opéra-Comique), 10 February 1881.
First UK performance: London (Adelphi Theatre), 17 April 1907.
First performance in Scotland: Glasgow (King's Theatre), 31 October 1910.
Scottish Opera première: Dundee (Gardyne Theatre), 20 March 1986.

Background
Offenbach spent most of his career as a successful composer of topical or satirical operetta. He always longed to produce a successful serious opera and Hoffmann is the nearest he came. He died before completing it, and arguments have raged ever since as to how it should be performed. It used to be given with clunky recitatives added by Guiraud instead of the original dialogue, and the order of scenes was changed from his original idea. Most stagings now attempt to return as closely as possible to what it is thought Offenbach intended, though few experts seem to agree on what that was.

Hoffmann seems hardly to leave the stage. If a suitably versatile soprano can be found, his four loves can be played by one singer to increase the sense of unity. Also the four villains can be sung by one bass-baritone. There are four roles for a character tenor as various servants.

Main Characters
Hoffmann, a poet (tenor)
Nicklausse, his friend (mezzo-soprano)
Stella, an opera star (soprano)
Councillor Lindorf (bass)
Coppélius, a scientist and rival of Spalanzani (baritone)
Olympia, a mechanical doll invented by Spalanzani (soprano)
Antonia, daughter of Councillor Crespel (soprano)
Miracle, a doctor (baritone)
Giulietta, a Venetian courtesan (soprano)
Dapertutto, a magician (baritone)

Plot Summary
The opera is framed by a prologue and epilogue located in an inn in Nuremberg. Hoffmann is awaiting the arrival of his old flame Stella from the opera house. He drinks with his friends and tells them three far-fetched tales supposedly from his romantic experiences. At the end, when Stella at last arrives, he is dead drunk and she abandons him in favour of Lindorf.

The first tale, where Hoffmann falls for a lifelike doll who sings and dances, can be quite farcical. The second touches tragedy. Antonia is delicate, but she is persuaded to sing by Miracle and the spirit of her dead mother, while Hoffmann and her father desperately try to stop her, since they know the effort will kill her. The third tale is set in a decadent, almost lurid, vision of Venice, lightened by the famous Barcarolle

The Cast

Andrès
 Stella's servant
Antonia
 Crespel's daughter
Antonia's mother
 a spirit voice
Cochenille
 Spalanzani's servant
Coppélius
 a scientist, Spalanzani's rival
Crespel
 a councillor of Munich
Dapertutto
 a sorcerer
Dr Miracle
 a doctor
First Voice
 on the lagoon
Franz
 Crespel's servant
Giulietta
 a courtesan
Hermann
 a student
Hoffman's Muse
 
Hoffmann
 a poet
Lindorf
 a councillor of Nuremberg
Luther
 an innkeeoer
Nathaniel
 a student
Nicklausse
 Hoffmann's friend
Olympia
 a doll
Pitichinaccio
 Giulietta's admirer
Schlemil
 Giulietta's lover
Second Voice
 on the lagoon
Spalanzani
 an Italian inventor
Stella
 an opera singer
Wilhelm
 a student

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2019

Site by SiteBuddha