Fantastic opera in 3 acts with prologue and epilogue
Performed in French with Russian subtitles
Libretto by Jules Barbier on the play of the same name by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré based on the stories Der Sandmann (The Sandman), Rat Krespel (Councillor Krespel), and Das verlorene Spiegelbild (The Lost Reflection) by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann. Edited by Michael Kaye and Jean-Christophe Keck
The opera was written in 1880. This version was first performed in Perm in 2015. Running time: 3 hours 45 minutes including 2 intervals
The only opera by «king of operettas» Jacques Offenbach has been a hard nut for directors to crack for over a century. The main difficulty is how to express the dramatic composition of the performance on stage so that it doesn’t seem like a triptych of relatively independent stories with the main character just passing through from one to the next, but to present it as a complete entity with a logically developing over-arching plot.
The second is not so much a problem but rather a peculiarity concerning the line-up of artists. Their numbers may vary: for example, three different singers can fill the parts of the objects of desire of the poet Hoffman – Olympia the mechanical doll, Giulietta the courtesan and the young girl Antonia – (they are intended for different types of soprano), or they may be filled by a single singer. Similarly, the baritone parts of the evil geniuses Lindorf, Coppélius, Dapertutto and Miracle. The second variant is considered the more prestigious. Nevertheless, the final decision always lies with the conductor and director.
The Perm production is the young director Katerina Evangelatos’ debut in the opera. She is a graduate of the Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS), class of Leonid Heifetz.