‘Les Contes d’Hoffmann’ Returns to the Liceu with the voices of John Osborn and Ermonela Jaho

The Tales of Hoffmann

Considered one of the main masterpieces of French romanticism, The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach arrives at Gran Teatre del Liceu hand in hand with the dreamlike production of Laurent Pelly

Teacher Riccardo Frizza directs an unbeatable cast of voices that, Next to the Symphony Orchestra and Choir of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, face offenbach's last great opera

A luxurious cast heads the main roles: the tenors JJohn Osborn and Arturo Chacón-Cruz like Hoffmann, Jaho Ermonela in the role of Antonia, Olga Pudova and Rocío Pérez playing Olympia and Nino Surguladze and Ginger Costa-Jackson giving voice to Giulietta

The play, unfinished by the death of the composer in 1880, narrates the misfortunes of the poet Hoffmann, obsessed with succeeding in love. Represented 25 times at the theater, the high school public will now be able to meet again with a fantastic artistic creation

The schedule of the functions will be at 18:30h to allow all the public to return to their homes before the curfew established by the restrictions of the pandemic. Sunday function day 31 January will be held at 5pm.

He Gran Teatre del Liceu starts the year with one of the successes most appreciated by the public, The Tales of Hoffmann by Jaques Offenbach, a production of the prestigious Laurent Pelly and with the direction of the renowned Italian director Riccardo Frizza, replacing Jordan de Souza, that you canceled your participation for personal reasons. The most famous of the French comic operas can be seen from 18 January to 1 February, with a total of 10 functions. A luxury artistic team in which John Osborn Y Arturo Chacón-Cruz they will put themselves in the shoes of the cursed poet Hoffmann who evokes his love past with Olympia (Olga Pudova Y Rocío Pérez), Antonia (Jaho Ermonela) and Giulietta (Nino Surguladze Y Ginger Costa-Jackson). the mezzosoprano Marina Viotti will play the role of muse / Nicklausse alongside Carol Garcia (19 Y 31 from January), replacing Stephanie d'Oustrac who has canceled his participation in the production for health reasons. An unbeatable cast of voices that also features Alexander Vinogradov Y Roberto Tagliavini, embodying the four evil. An unbeatable cast of voices that also features Alexander Vinogradov and Roberto Tagliavini, embodying the evil four. In the role of Stella, due to the preventive isolation of the soprano Adriana González, joins the cast Elena Sancho Pereg, who will sing on opening night and make a total of 5 functions (18, 19, 25, 28 Y 31 from January). Once the 10 days of isolation, González will rejoin doing his first function on 20 January and will follow 21, 26, 30 January 1 February.

In The Tales of Hoffmann, Offenbach creates a world with its own rules that leads us to a universe in which dreams and reality intertwine. Without giving up his own style -ameno, sensitive and sweet melody–, the playwright ambitiously pushed the boundaries of comic opera. The play, unfinished by the death of the composer in 1880, he was left without details of how exactly the set should look on stage. The Five Parts He Created – Three Acts, prologue and epilogue–, even though they were practically closed, often undergo musicological reviews. That's why, that each production is a real surprise and novelty. Version of Laurent Pelly, which premiered at the Liceu in 2013, adapts to Offenbach's proposal and collects the two faces of Romanticism: the dark history and the magic of its reverse. Pelly uses the idea of ​​the protagonist's dream trip, an always effective narrative resource to draw a nebulous area where fantasy and truth seem to be confused.

The last dramatic work that Offenbach composed will be one of the challenges for the Symphony Orchestra and the Liceu Choir, which for this occasion will feature Riccardo Frizza in front. The score is full of great musical moments like the one starring Hoffmann and Olympia in the second act and in which the voices of the tenor and the soprano blend in a charming lyrical sweetness. But surely the climax is the famous barcarola of the third act. Giulietta and Nicklausse sing one of the most recognizable tunes of all time, delicious music halfway between the time Of the waltz and the hypnotic effect of a lullaby.

The plot of the piece, inspired by the fantastic stories of the German writer E. T. A. Hoffmann, tells the story of the poet Hoffmann, in love with stella, boarding, pushed by the muse, on an extraordinary night's journey to find the ideal woman, embodied in the protagonists of the respective acts: Olympia (an automaton), Antonia (a young woman who gets sick when she sings) and Giulietta (a courtesan in Venice). The muse, but nevertheless, look for Hoffmann's love failure, since she is convinced that only when he renounces love will he be able to dedicate himself to poetry and spread its good to all humanity.

The Tales of Hoffmann is an opera in three acts with music by Jaques Offenbach and libretto by Jules Barbier. It premiered for the first time on 10 February 1881 at the Opéra Comique in Paris. In Barcelona he arrived in Spanish at the Eldorado Theater, with a first representation the 22 April 1905. In the Liceu, it was released a few years later, he 5 February 1924, and since then it has been seen at the Teatre 25 times.

High school, a safe space

The Gran Teatre del Liceu has worked since the beginning of the pandemic to enable a series of measures adapted to guarantee health security within the Teatre. A protocol that has the purpose of complying with the regulations of the Department of Health and the specific conditions of the Procicat in terms of cultural facilities.

With the intention of ensuring to the maximum that the Lyceum is a safe space, we remember that it is mandatory to use a mask and hydroalcoholic gel inside the Theater. Other measures include temperature control at entrances, constant disinfection of spaces, the permanent renewal of the air through two new fans that were installed in August 2020, the disabling of the guard- clothing, and the use of digital format for handheld programs.

So that the public can return to their homes before curfew, the schedule of the functions will be at 18:30h. Sunday function day 31 January will be held at 5pm.

Photograph: A. Bofil