The Tales of Hoffmann
Performed in the original French with Czech, English and German surtitles
Love is a flame which burns in one’s eyes, love is a sea of tears one must cry…
This story of a poet who is seeking his feminine ideal carries the subheading opéra fantastique, and the only real parts are the prologue and epilogue where the poet Hoffmann, who is in love with the singer Stella, entertains the guests at a public house. Nobody knows whether the stories of the three women he loved are true, or if they are just examples of the poet escaping into a world of bizarre fantasy. Before producing this work, librettist Jules Barbier had been inspired by the character and tales of one of the first exponents of romanticism, the poet and composer E.T.A. Hoffmann, to write a play with the same name in collaboration with Michel Carré. French composer J. Offenbach is connected mainly with the operetta genre, though he also created two operas, The Rhine Nixies and The Tales of Hoffmann, neither of which he managed to complete, though they are still popular in the opera repertoire. In the Tales of Hoffmann, Offenbach did not completely reject all influences from the world of operetta, but the extensive lyrical numbers and sophisticated dramatic passages rank this work alongside that of authors such as Gounod and Bizet. The new production will be the first collaboration of the directorial duo SKUTR with the Brno Opera ensemble.