Les Contes d'Hoffmann

  • 2013/2014 Season
  • Jacqus Offenbach : Les Contes d'Hoffmann
    Opera in 5 Acts
    Sung in French with Japanese Supertitles

The NNTT presents the Philippe Arlaud production of this fantastic love story. Les Contes d'Hoffmann is composer Jacques Offenbach's only opera. It features the well-known song "Barcarolle", while Olympia's aria "Les oiseaux dans la charmille" ("The Doll Song") for coloratura soprano is a highlight of the opera. This was the first Arlaud production to be mounted at NNTT, and it really explores the depths of the source material. The costumes exhibit great wit and humor, and day-glo colors are used to great effect in the dark stage space to bring out the fantastic elements of the original work. On the podium will be Paris-born conductor Frédéric Chaslin. In his NNTT debut, Arturo Chacón-Cruz will sing the role of Hoffmann. The three women Hoffman loves will be played by Kouda Hiroko, Hamada Rie, and Yokoyama Keiko; their appearance together on a single stage is something audiences won't want to miss.


The setting is a tavern next to the opera house. The poet Hoffmann, who exchanged promises with the singer Stella, with whom he is in love, to meet each other after her performance, begins telling stories of past love with three women: falling in love with Olympia, a mechanical doll; his shadow being taken by the courtesan Giulietta; and his consumptive lover Antonia being coaxed to sing one last time, draining her of her last breath. The tales over, Hoffman falls into despair over the emptiness of love, getting drunk. Whereupon the Muse appears before him.

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