Les contes d'Hoffmann

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Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) is a French opera. It has a prologue, three acts and an epilogue. The music was written by Jacques Offenbach. The libretto was written by Jules Berbier and Michel Carré. It is based on E.T.A Hoffmann's Dr Sandmann, Geschichte von Verloreren Spiegelbilde. The opera was first performed in Paris, on 10 February 1881.

The opera was the last and perhaps greatest work of Offenbach. It was not quite finished when he died. The final score was completed by Ernest Guiraud. Guiraud also wrote the recitatives, though at first it was meant to have spoken-dialogue. The work was an immediate success and has remained so since its creation.

Principal characters[change | change source]

  • Hoffmann - tenor
  • Olympia - soprano
  • Antonia - soprano
  • Giuletta - soprano
  • Stella - soprano
  • Dr Miracle - bass
  • Dapertutto - bass
  • Coppélius - bass
  • Lindorf - bass
  • Nicklaus - mezzo-soprano
  • Spalanzani - tenor
  • Ideally, the four soprano roles should be sung by the same singer as well as the four bass roles as they represent different aspects of two characters.

Sources[change | change source]

  • The Complete Dictionary of Opera & Operetta, James Anderson, Wings Books, 1993.