Irish National Opera
Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880)
The Tales of Hoffmann 1880
One narrator. Drunk. The story of the women in his life. The complications of his current love and his current rival. And an evil shadow that follows him everywhere.
Offenbach was dubbed “the Mozart of the Champs-Élysées” by Rossini. His lyrical, effervescent final opera, left unfinished at his death, with its plot of strange, outrageous loves, an ever-present evil genius, not to mention the famous Barcarolle (borrowed from an earlier work) and an aria for a wind-up mechanical doll, is a treasure-trove for an imaginative director.
“I warn others solemnly that Offenbach’s music is wicked. It is abandoned stuff: every accent in it is a snap of the fingers in the face of moral responsibility: every ripple and sparkle on its surface twits me for my teetotalism, and mocks at the early rising of which I fully intend to make a habit some day.” — George Bernard Shaw, 1889
Director Tom Creed places the emotional roller-coaster of Hoffmann’s life and the characters of his world — 21 different roles sung by 16 singers — in a sharp contemporary setting.
Eloquent tenor Julian Hubbard is the luckless hero. Spectacular soprano Claudia Boyle deftly morphs into the four women he is obsessed with. Majestic mezzo soprano Gemma Ní Bhriain tries to hold it all together as his staunch friend, Nicklausse. And some of Ireland’s best singing talent joins in the fray.
Claudia Boyle, “captivating in the truest sense of the word” — Opernwelt
Julian Hubbard, “a lyrical, expressive tenor” — Bachtrack.com
Cast: Julian Hubbard • Claudia Boyle • Gemma Ní Bhriain • John Molloy • Andrew Gavin • Brendan Collins • Carolyn Holt • Cormac Lawlor • Kevin Neville • Peter O’Reilly • Fearghal Curtis • Robert McAllister • Amy Ní Fhearraigh • Corina Ignat • Martha O’Brien • Conor Breen
Conductor: Andrew Synnott
Director: Tom Creed
Set & Costume Designer: Katie Davenport
Lighting Designer: Sinéad McKenna
A very prolonged & very well deserved standing ovation for The Tales of Hoffmann by @IrishNatOpera tonight. If you get a chance to see this incredible production in @LimeTreeTheatre @EverymanCork @siamsatire #Watergatekilkenny @angrianan or @HawksWellSligo GO GO GO! pic.twitter.com/7Tr2yD7h5e
— Solstice Arts Centre (@solsticearts) September 20, 2018
An absolutely phenomenal SOLD OUT performance of The Tales of Hoffmann from @IrishNatOpera last night – if you’re lucky enough to live near @solsticearts @LimeTreeTheatre @EverymanCork @siamsatire @WatergateKK @THTG @angrianan or @HawksWellSligo don’t miss out! https://t.co/T9OJslMyjP
— Pavilion Theatre (@PavilionTheatre) September 19, 2018
Irish National Opera is a major new initiative for opera in Ireland. Based in Dublin, Irish National Opera is a new company funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. It was founded by Opera Theatre Company and Wide Open Opera.