Opera Scotland

Tales of Hoffmann 2015Opera Camerata

Read more about the opera Tales of Hoffmann

Opera Camerata's choice for their annual production was their second staging of Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann, sung in English. The performance, with an excellent pit band of sixteen, under Alison Rushworth, was given in the orchestral reduction by Tony Burke, whose work must be invaluable in making operatic scores available to amateur groups in usable forms.

This staging was generally well sung. Two of the roles were double cast, Hoffmann and Nicklausse being on stage longer than the other characters, as they feature through all the tales. The Saturday pairing included an excellent young lyric tenor, Michael Doroszenko, who sensibly avoided any forcing in his more dramatic outbursts, partnering a mezzo, Barbara Scott, who was able to show off some near contralto tones.

The roles of the various heroines and villains were divided up. Nina Kopparhed showed great confidence in Olympia's roulades. Angela Estrada gave a suitably sultry interpretation of the Venetian temptress Giulietta, while also making an impact in her brief appearance in the epilogue, as the prima donna Stella. The most important of these roles, musically and dramatically, is Antonia, the innocent young singer in the central tragic act. She was sung with full-voiced authority by Gillian Robertson, who showed off a beautifully-schooled lyric soprano with ample reserves of power.

Of the baritones, the greatest impact was enjoyed by Richard Mein as the smoothly villainous, Mephistophelean figure of Dr Miracle, driving Antonia on to sing herself to death. Roger Robertson as Lindorf and Dapertutto, had a lighter voice, but was able to dominate the stage with ease. Graham Drew was able to differentiate effectively between the various servants.

The production by Elspeth Williamson made excellent use of the intimate stage, with a particularly etmospheric set design for the third act with its Venetian backdrop. The chorus sang well, the only minor quibble being the fact that, inevitably, the male voices were substantially outnumbered by females, resulting in a noticeable imbalance in the student community.

Performance Cast

Nicklausse Hoffmann's friend

Susanne Horsburgh (Oct 7, 9)

Barbara Scott (Oct 8, 10)

Lindorf a councillor of Nuremberg

Roger Robertson

Luther an innkeeoer

Alexander MacLaren

Hoffmann a poet

Mike Towers (Oct 7, 9)

Michael Doroszenko (Oct 8, 10)

Olympia a doll

Nina Kopparhed

Cochenille Spalanzani's servant

Graham Drew

Spalanzani an Italian inventor

Stuart Clelland

Coppélius a scientist, Spalanzani's rival

George Ross

Antonia Crespel's daughter

Gillian Robertson

Crespel a councillor of Munich

Mike Smith

Franz Crespel's servant

Graham Drew

Dr Miracle a doctor

Richard Mein

Antonia's mother a spirit voice

Catherine Harkin

Giulietta a courtesan

Angela Estrada

Schlemil Giulietta's lover

Alexander MacLaren

Pitichinaccio Giulietta's admirer

Graham Drew

Dapertutto a sorcerer

Roger Robertson

Stella an opera singer

Angela Estrada

Performance DatesTales of Hoffmann 2015

Map List

Church Hill Theatre | Edinburgh

7 Oct, 19.30 8 Oct, 19.30 9 Oct, 19.30 10 Oct, 19.30

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