Tales of Hoffman premiered in Denver with OperaColorado

OperaColorado premiered Tales of Hoffman last Saturday with great delight to the audience. While I will be taking in the performance Tuesday (Nov 10), I thought I would treat you to some of the highlights other reviewers said of the performance.

Wes Blomster, Daily Camera Classical Music Critic said, "Doucet and Barbe obviously had a field day in this co-production with St. Louis and Boston. Their concern was the show -- not the story, and -- largely -- the audience loved it."

Too often productions want to stay "faithful" to some concept of classic opera. However, since Offenbach died before completing the full orchestration of this work directors often take the opportunity to give their own take on the production. First performed in 1881, this opera comes at the cusp of a shift in opera style of Rossini (Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola) which were not necessarily based in reality, to the Verismo composers like Puccini (La bohème, Tosca) who wanted a sense of gritty reality in their works. Tales of Hoffmann is hardly a realistic story, filled with automatron women and yet, there is a sense of political poignancy to the libretto. OperaColorado's production should be a wonderful romp with some truly great music.

The Tales of Hoffmann

Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets. Opera Colorado presents Jacques Offenbach's fantasical opera, based on three tales by E.T.A. Hoffmann. This version was co-produced with Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where it debuted in the summer of 2008. 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Tuesday and Nov. 13 and 2 p.m. Nov. 15. 3 hours, 15 minutes. $30-$160. 800-982-2787 or operacolorado.org

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