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Les Contes d'Hoffmann

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Framed as a series of flashbacks, Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) follows the title poet through a series of failed love affairs. Originally conceived as a showcase for a single soprano, who would portray all of Hoffmann’s love interests, the immense wide-ranging vocal demands of the four heroines often necessitates splitting up the roles between multiple singers. But in this historic 1985 radio broadcast, Catherine Malfitano rises to the challenge, appearing as the nearly-human doll Olympia, the enthralling courtesan Giulietta, the waifish songstress Antonia, and the mercurial diva Stella. As E. T. A. Hoffmann, legendary tenor Alfredo Kraus gives a heroic performance, opposite bass-baritone James Morris as all four of the opera’s villains. Character tenor Andrea Velis as the Four Servants and mezzo-soprano Ariel Bybee as Nicklausse and Hoffmann’s Muse round out the cast, conducted by celebrated maestro Julius Rudel.

Full Synopsis

Performance Info

Performance Date

Jan 26, 1985


Jacques Offenbach


Jules Barbier and Michel Carré

Run Time

2 HRS 26 MIN

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus