Les Contes d'Hoffmann

Date:2019-07-04      Source:National Centre for the Performing Arts

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Venue: Opera House

Dates: July 10 - 14, 2019


Les Contes d'Hoffmann
Opéra Fantastique in five acts
By Jacques Offenbach
Libretto by Jules Barbier
Based on the play by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
Edited by Michael Kaye and Jean-Christophe Keck

Stage Director: Francesca Zambello
Set Designers: Peter J. Davison, Charles Quiggin
Costume Designer: Court Watson
Choreographer: Denni Sayers
Lighting Designer: Mark McCullough
Associate Director: Duncan Macfarland

Les Contes d'Hoffmann is the last work of light opera master Jacques Offenbach, also one of his most famous opera compositions. The prototype of the hero is German writer and poet E.T.A Hoffmann, which tells a fantastic love story of Huffman and three women. Hoffmann experiences romantic loves, but each love ends with tragedy, repeated blows make the poet lack enthusiasm for love, and devotes himself to art and poetry. The music can be hailed as brilliant, including coloratura aria The Doll Song and the romantic and wonderful Barcarolle. This masterpiece also reaches an unprecedented height in art, featuring romantic and fantastic stage set and stunning audio-visual feast.

The NCPA production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann is another French opera masterpiece produced by world-acclaimed opera director Francesca Zambello and set designer Peter J. Davison, marking their return after the NCPA production of Carmen. Stunning and fantastic stage design brings the audience to several romantic countries; unusual clothes highlighting the collision of classical and modern art tell the romantic and tortured love stories.


Poet Hoffmann sits in the Luther Pub beside the Nuremberg Opera House where Don Giovanni starring his adored female star Stella is being staged. The drunken poet tells three love experiences to his students. The first love involves mechanical baby Olympia, the second one Antonia, a sick girl keen on singing, and the third Venetian party girl Giulietta. Due to the obstruction of bad Lindorf and his avatar, the three loves end up with tragedy. Poet's friend Nicklausse is the avatar of Muse, who persuades Hoffmann to concentrate on writing and not to be addicted to love. Hoffmann finishes the three stories. When the opera performance has been over, the drunken Hoffmann is in a coma. His rival Lindorf takes the opportunity and steals Stella's heart. In the end, Hoffmann once again loses his beloved woman, and has no choice but to express the thoughts and feelings in his poems.


Pinchas Steinberg

Francesca Zambello
Stage Director

Peter J. Davison
Set Designer

Charles Quiggin
Co-Set Designer

Court Watson
Costume Designer

Denni Sayers

Mark McCullough
Lighting Designer

Stephan Grögler
Revival Director

Alessandra Panzavolta
Revival Choreographer

Samuel Coquard
Chorus Master


Peter Sonn
as Hoffmann (Jul. 10, 12, 14)

as Hoffmann (Jul. 11, 13)

Paola Gardina
as Nicklausse/La Muse (Jul. 10, 12, 14)

as Nicklausse/La Muse (Jul. 11, 13)

Ekaterina Bakanova
as Antonia (Jul. 10, 12, 14)

SONG Yuanming
as Antonia (Jul. 11, 13)

Nancy Fabiola Herrera
as Giulietta (Jul. 10, 12, 14)

WANG Hongyao
as Giulietta (Jul. 11, 13)

Daria Terekhova
as Olympia (Jul. 10, 12, 14)

ZHANG Wenqin
as Olympia (Jul. 11, 13)

Dmitry Ulyanov
as Lindorf/Coppélius/Dr. Miracle/Dappertutto (Jul. 10, 12, 14)

WU Wei
as Lindorf/Coppélius/Dr. Miracle/Dappertutto (Jul. 11, 13)


China NCPA Orchestra

China NCPA Chorus