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Jacques Offenbach envisioned 'Les Contes d'Hoffmann' as the opportunity to move away from the opéra bouffes for which he was known and into the realm of serious opera. Offenbach, however, was not able to realize his ambition. He died while the opera was in rehearsal and it was completed by Ernest Guiraud. The libretto, based on a play inspired by the stories of E.T.A. Hoffmann, has Hoffmann recount his fantastic, mysterious tales as he falls into the depths of despair. This 1964 recording of 'Les Contes d'Hoffmann' is notable as it marks the first appearance of Beverly Sills in the roles of Olympia, Giulietta, Antonia, and Stella. She's paired with bass-baritone Norman Treigle, who appears in the roles of Lindorf, Coppélius, Dapertutto,Read more and Dr. Miracle, and this production finds them both in top form. Sills, in addition to her splendid vocal abilities, brings her characteristic intelligence to the multiple roles. André Turp lends flair to his portrayal of Hoffman, and also noteworthy are Edith Evans as Nicklausse and the Mother's Voice, and Luigi Vellucci, singing the roles of the four servants. Knud Andersson and the New Orleans Opera Orchestra and Chorus provide solid support throughout. Read less
Works on This Recording
Les contes d'Hoffmannby Jacques Offenbach Performer:
Edith Evans (Soprano),
Michael Devlin (Bass Baritone),
John West (Bass),
Rodney Hall (Baritone),
Alton Brim (Tenor),
Beverly Sills (Soprano),
Norman Treigle (Bass),
Luigi Vellucci (Tenor),
Don Bernard (Baritone),
André Turp (Tenor)
New Orleans Opera Orchestra,
New Orleans Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1881; Paris, France Date of Recording: 02/27/1964 Venue: Live New Orleans Opera Association, Louisiana Length: 125 Minutes 20 Secs. Language: French
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