A DAY AT THE OPERA with Dr. Kolb: LES CONTES d'HOFFMANN
Tuesday March 28, 2017
Jacques Offenbach’s, Les Contes d’Hoffmann
During one night in a tavern in Nuremberg, the poet Hoffmann is induced into telling the stories of the three great loves of his life and we see his stories unfold. In each story an evil nemesis causes the destruction of his love. His first love turns out to be a puppet, or animated doll. Because he has been sold a pair of magic glasses the doll appears to be real and it is only when his glasses break and the doll is destroyed by his enemy, Coppelius, that he realize the trick that has been played on him. His second love is Antonia, a frail woman who wishes to sing and be an artist like her mother, but such a career is destined to destroy her. Despite Hoffmann’s attempts to discourage her from singing, Antonia, encouraged by the evil Dr. Miracle, pursues her love for song and dies. His final love is a courtesan, Giulietta, who secretly steals his shadow as she assists the evil Captain Dappertutto, but then she accidentally drinks poison intended for Hoffmann’s friend and muse, Nicklausse, and she too dies. Back in the tavern, Hoffmann concludes that these three women represent different aspects of the same woman and announces that he will love no more but dedicate himself to his art instead. Since Offenbach died before completing it, there are many different versions of this work and no definitive right one. Since Offenbach composed roughly 100 operas, it is remarkable that this final, incomplete work is viewed by most as his masterpiece. It contains numerous musical arias of exquisite beauty.
Location: COMMUNITY ROOM - LOWER LEVEL
Click here to go to the Manhasset Public Library calendar.