In 1980, with The Tales of Hoffmann for The Royal Opera, film director John Schlesinger created a fabulous version of a fantastic tale. The lavish staging and wonderful story have made it a favourite in the repertory and for this revival Rolando Villazón returns in the leading role with which he made such a stunning Royal Opera debut in 2004.
Jacques Offenbach’s opera is a rich musical vein of atmosphere and melody – its Barcarolle is especially famous – and in it the audience follows a romantic poet in whose imagination the women he loves are repeatedly stolen from him by a succession of villains. These are performances to enjoy for so many elements: showpieces for great opera singers, grand choruses, the intimacy of Hoffmann and his loves, the sumptuous and large-scale stage pictures of rich 19th-century design.
Audiences can become enthralled by the story’s clockwork doll and also admire the vocal virtuosity of the singer who portrays her; they can be mesmerized by the villains who haunt Hoffmann and also enjoy the performance of the single singer who plays all four of them. Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, conducts a star cast in a perfect mix of great opera and the thrill of live theatre.
Performed in French with English surtitles.
Learn more about London operas within the West End.