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Weird Love Tales

Offenbach's 'The Tales of Hoffmann' -
reviewed by

'... a cast, orchestra, conductor and stage team fully up to tackling a very demanding project.'

Jacques Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann. © 2007 Opus Arte

E T A Hoffmann was the oddest mixture. Musician enough to write a successful opera about the water-spirit Undine, to change his third name to Amadeus in honour of Mozart, he was yet ugly and unprepossessing in person, much given to alcohol. At the same time he managed from 1814 to be greatly respected as a jurist in Berlin. The brew is indeed heady, and Offenbach had the fantastic inspiration to write a final work with Hoffmann as thwarted hero (if that's the word) of his own weird love tales. There is no doubt that in this Bilbao production Hoffmann is mostly befuddled, victim of his hectic imagination, staggering round the stage in a stupor more often than opportunity strictly demands.

Aquiles Machado as Hoffmann. DVD screenshot © 2006 Opus Arte/ABAO
Aquiles Machado as Hoffmann. DVD screenshot © 2006 Opus Arte/ABAO


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Copyright © 13 June 2007 Robert Anderson, London UK


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