Hopelessly besotted with a flighty prima donna, the poet Hoffmann drunkenly recalls the three loves of his life: Olympia, a mechanical doll; Antonia, a sick young singer; and Giulietta, a Venetian whore who stole his reflection and his soul.
Based upon the fantastical tales of the German Romantic writer E.T.A. Hoffmann, Offenbach’s operatic swansong boasts such hit numbers as the clockwork-driven ‘Doll’s Song’ and the seductively swooning ‘Barcarolle’.
With its phantasmagorical blurring of dreams and reality, The Tales of Hoffmann is perfectly suited to the imagination of director Richard Jones, back at ENO after his Olivier Award-nominated Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci in 2008. Alongside Barry Banks as the lovelorn hero, young American soprano Georgia Jarman sings all three of Hoffmann’s lost loves – a feat few sopranos today can match.
Opening night: 10 February 2012
Closing night: 10 March 2012