Les Contes d'Hoffmann

Day 
Date 
Hour

Les Contes d'Hoffmann
Jacques Offenbach

Hoffmann the poet falls in love with the mechanic doll Olympia in Paris, with the unhealthy singer Antonia in Munich and with Giulietta who hosts voluptuous parties in Venice. The three faces of Eve make the centre of one of the grandest operas written for the Parisian stage.

Libretto: Jules Barbier and Michel Carre
 

Conductor Frederic Chaslin 20.3, 21.3, 22.3, 24.3, 25.3, 27.3, 29.3, 31.3, 2.4
Eithan Schmeisser 28.3, 4.4, 5.5
Director Derek Gimpel
Based on a production by Harry Kupfer
Set Designer Based on Hans Schavernoch
Costume Designer      Elke Eckardt-Schrem, based on Reinhard Heinrich's design
Lighting Designer Hans Toelstede

Among the Soloists
 
Hoffmannn Gustavo Porta
Luca Lombardo 28.3
The four villans Carlo Cigni            21.3, 24.3, 27.3, 29.3, 2.4, 5.4
Vladimir Braun 20.3, 22.3, 25.3, 28.3,31.3, 4.4
Olympia / Antonia / Giulietta Lyubov Petrova 20.3, 22.3, 25.3, 28.3, 31.3, 2.4, 5.4
Talise Trevigne 21.3, 24.3, 27.3, 29.3, 4.4
Niklausse Ionut Pascu 20.3, 21.3, 24.3, 25.3, 27.3, 29.3, 2.4, 5.4
Gabriele Ribis 22.3, 28.3, 31.3, 4.4
Cochenille / Franz / Pittichinaccio    Guy Mannheim
Spalanzani / Nathanael Given Nkosi
Crespel Noah Briger

Schlemil / Hermann

Yair Polishook

Luther Oded Reich 20.3, 21.3, 24.3, 25.3, 28.3, 29.3, 31.3, 2.4, 4.4, 5.4
Sorin Semilian 22.3, 27.3
Antonia's mother Svetlana Sandler

The Israeli Opera Chorus
Chorus Master: Ethan Schmeisser
The Opera Orchestra - The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion
Surtitles in Hebrew and English
Translation: Israel Ouval

New Production
Sung in French
Duration: Three hours

Day                   Date                  Hour           back stage tours   Opera Talkback
* THU 20.3.14 20:00
FRI 21.3.14 13:00
SAT 22.3.14 20:00
MON 24.3.14 20:00 18:30 After the show
TUE 25.3.14 20:00 18:30 After the show
THU 27.3.14 20:00
FRI 28.3.14 13:00
SAT 29.3.14 21:00
MON 31.3.14 20:00 18:30 After the show
WED 2.4.14 20:00 18:30 After the show
FRI  4.4.14 13:00
SAT 5.4.14 21:00

* PREMIÈRE
** TOWARDS OPENING - 15.3.14 SAT 11:00 
A pre-performance lecture (in Hebrew) is held one hour before every performance. Free admission for tickets holders.

Synopsis

Prologue
The writer and musician Hoffmann is in a deep crisis. The muse finds him in the hollows of human life and wants to elevate him to creative imagination. The counsellor Lindorf has found out that Andres, the servant of Stella, is about to bring a letter to Hoffmann. He buys the letter and finds out that Hoffmann is invited to Stella’s dressing room.

Luther prepares for the guests to enter his wine cellar near the opera house during the interval of a Don Giovanni performance and offers them punch. Hoffmann arrives in a bad mood, because his relation with the singer Stella, who sings the part of Donna Anna, is in crisis. The guests mock him. Hoffmann sings the ballad about a hunchbacked dwarf whose eyes remind him of Stella and he reminisces about the time he fell in love with her. The arrival of Lindorf irritates Hoffmann and in the confrontation with Lindorf he confesses his love to Stella, in whose character he sees three different types of women.

Act I
The mechanic inventor Spalanzani hopes that the presentation of the doll he has just built will make up for the money he has lost in speculations. Hoffmann falls in love with Olympia. Coppelius introduces himself as a friend of Spalanzani and gives Hoffmann glasses which enable him to see Olympia even more beautiful. The eyes of the doll have been made by Coppelius who now demands his share from Spalanzani and the latter pays him off with an unsecured cheque. The guests arrive. The doll is being admired. Hoffman only sees what he wants - a beautiful girl but his love to the doll is being laughed at. Nicklausse tries to explain to Hoffmann, that Olympia is not alive but Hoffmann dances with Olympia, and when the speed of the dance gets out of control, Hoffmann falls on the floor and looses his glasses. Coppelius has found out that the cheque wasn’t covered and in a rage he destroys the doll.

Act II
Hoffmann is in Venice looking for a distraction and intoxication to drown his memories. Giulietta introduces Hoffmann to Schlemil, the owner of the palace where the festivity is held. Nicklausse tries to convince Hoffman that the place is too dangerous for him but Hoffmann thinks he is strong enough to resist all dangers. Dapertutto wants Hoffmann as a victim and makes Giulietta his accomplice. She will make Hoffmann fall in love with her and take his reflection. Giulietta seduces Hoffmann and promises to leave with him if he can get the key from Schlemil which he keeps a symbol of his power over her. Hoffmann gives Giulietta his reflection and then demands the key from Schlemil, killing him during their argument only to discover that Giulietta has left with Dapertutto.
 

Act III
Crespel reproaches Antonia for not following his orders to stop singing, as her signing reminds him of his wife who was a singer and died of a mysterious illness. Antonia promises not to sing again. Full of worries Crespel orders his servant Franz to lock the door. Franz doesn’t understand his master and complains about his nervousness. Franz would have liked to be an artist, if he only knew the right method. Hoffmann has been looking all over for Antonia and has finally found her. Together they hope to continue their love affair. Yet Hoffmann senses that she is not really interested in him as a human being but just as an artist. Hoffmann hides and overhears an encounter between Crespel and Doctor Miracle. Crespel thinks that the Doctor is responsible for the death of his wife. Despite the resistance of Crespel, Miracle examines his daughter and forces Antonia to sing. In her desperation Antonia calls for her mother. Miracle conjures the image of the dead mother and Antonia sings herself to death. Crespel find his dying child and blames Hoffmann.

Epilogue
Hoffman says farewell to the three women. He is now barren. Stella has decided to come herself into the wine cellar and pick Hoffmann up. Hoffmann is irritated by Stella’s unexpected invitation and he wants to forget her. Lindorf believes he is the winner yet Stella runs away from Hoffmann and Lindorf.

The muse justifies the existence of Hoffmann only as the creator of his work. He takes the stories Hoffmann has written with him, praises his fame and leaves.

Day                   Date                  Hour           back stage tours   Opera Talkback
* THU 20.3.14 20:00
FRI 21.3.14 13:00
SAT 22.3.14 20:00
MON 24.3.14 20:00 18:30 After the show
TUE 25.3.14 20:00 18:30 After the show
THU 27.3.14 20:00
FRI 28.3.14 13:00
SAT 29.3.14 21:00
MON 31.3.14 20:00 18:30 After the show
WED 2.4.14 20:00 18:30 After the show
FRI  4.4.14 13:00
SAT 5.4.14 21:00

* PREMIÈRE
** TOWARDS OPENING - 15.3.14 SAT 11:00 

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A 30 minute pre-performance lecture (in hebrew) takes place at the auditorium one hour before each performance.

11:00 SAT 15.3.14

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