Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, staged by Olivier Py. High art at Geneva’s Grand Théâtre!
Three fables. A man falls in love with a doll, a young woman sings herself to death and a courtesan steals her lovers’ reflections. “Three women in the same woman”, and the same number of stories told by Hoffmann. A picture of the cursed artist slipping through women’s arms into those of his muse, under the treacherous eye of the evil one, the latter also appearing in three diabolical incarnations. Intertwining themes borrowed from the German poet, the libretto fed the composer’s fantasies with material both fantastic and fanciful, sustaining his dreams that this work would one day be a triumph at the Opéra Comique. Alas, he was to die before he could see it performed.
A former pupil of Pierre Boulez and Peter Eötvös, Patrick Davin conducts the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and a top quality company of singers gravitating around Marc Laho’s Hoffmann, with Patricia Petibon as Olympia, Rachel Harnisch as Antonia, Maria Riccarda Wesseling as Giulietta and Nicolas Cavallier as Lindorf/Coppelius/Miracle/Dapertutto.
Baroque and mystical, carnal yet metaphysical, Olivier Py’s theatrical universe comes into its own when highlighting the oddities of this truly singular work.
« A new production of the Tales of Hoffmann at Geneva’s Grand Theater creates a mix of art, sex and death in an unusually nightmarish and nihilistic reading of Jacques Offenbach’s opera. »