San Francisco Opera broadcasts continue on Classical 90.5 at noon this Saturday, October 12th, with a performance of The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach. The libretto is by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on three short stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Offenbach had previously seen the play Les contes fantastiques d'Hoffmann by Barbier and Michel Carré, which was produced at the Odéon Theatre in Paris in 1851. The performance will be sung in French and will run approximately three hours and forty-five minutes.
A sensitive poet searches for love and repeatedly finds it lies just beyond his reach in this marvelously melodic masterpiece. Singing the title role is tenor Matthew Polenzani, who was praised by The New York Times as "coming into his prime...singing with increasing ardor, richness and power." He is joined by the always-astonishing Natalie Dessay, who gave "a precise, luminous and impeccably controlled performance" (San Francisco Chronicle) in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor (2008), as Antonia; Hye Jung Lee, who was praised for her vocally "fierce, gleaming beauty" (San Francisco Chronicle) as Madame Mao in Nixon in China (2012), sings Olympia; in their Company debuts, Irene Roberts as Giulietta and mezzo-soprano Angela Brower, is Nicklausse, The Muse; and charismatic bass-baritone Christian Van Horn performs the villains who thwart Hoffmann's desires. Laurent Pelly (The Daughter of the Regiment, 2009) directs the San Francisco Opera's new production of this richly imaginative, psychologically astute gem. Patrick Fournillier conducts.
Hoffmann: Matthew Polenzani
The Muse/Nicklausse: Angela Brower
Coppélius, Dapertutto, Dr. Miracle, Lindorf: Christian Van Horn
Antonia: Natalie Dessay
Olympia: Hye Jung Lee
Giulietta: Irene Roberts
Stella: Jacqueline Piccolino
Frantz, Andrès, Cochenille, Pittichinaccio:Steven Cole