Jaques Offenbach composed the opera The Tales of Hoffmann in the late 1870s. Before dying he apparently had a premonition that he would not survive to see his opera performed… He ended up being right as he died only four months before the opera was performed for the first time!
As a result, many different editions of his original score have been altered and this means that there are many different editions in existence. Recently there have been efforts to reinstate the opera to a close approximation of the original.
So, you want to know what this is about? Spoiler alert, it’s not exactly a fairy tale: the opera is made up of three stories of the loves of Hoffmann and each of these relationships are doomed to end in tragedy…
But before making any decision read what your host for the day, Executive Director of the Alliance Française de Chicago, Jack McCord, has to say about this opera: “The Tales of Hoffmann…..an automaton who sings like a goddess, a lost love who sings too much, a beautiful Venetian courtesan who leaves Hoffmann hanging and then dies in his arms….VOILA some of the highlights of Tales of Hoffmann! Come see a stellar cast in this opéra fantastique for which its composer, Jacques Offenbach did not live to see the opening! Glorious music, all subtitled in English including the intermission feature.”