Saturday, January 31, 2015
Tales of Hoffmann in HD
Conductor: Yves Abel (excellent)
Production: Bartlett Sher
Olympia: Erin Morley (absolutely fabulous)
Antonia/Stella: Hibla Gerzmava
Giulietta: Christine Rice
Nicklausse: Kate Lindsey (wonderful)
Hoffmann: Vittorio Grigolo (best ever)
Four Villains: Thomas Hampson
Today was the second simulcast from the Metropolitan Opera of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann. Bartlett Sher told Debbie Voigt that the inspiration for his staging was Kafka. I think in this version the production was somewhat darkened and toned down. Nothing looked too shocking. In another context the production was called surreal. I think this is a correct use of the term.
I notice they have put the order of the scenes back to the traditional order: Antonia before Giulietta.
Yves Abel from his official biography: "A Franco-Canadian, he has a particular affinity with the French repertoire and has won significant critical acclaim for his achievements as founder and Music Director of L'Opéra Francais de New York, with whom he has regenerated rare French operas and also performed the world premiere of Dusapin’s To be Sung. Since 1994, the company has performed regularly to capacity audiences at the Lincoln Center." This is included because I panned the conducting for Merry Widow. He was great, but if he wants on my sexiest conductors list, he needs a better picture taken while conducting. Just saying.
I wanted to see Grigolo in this role. He was perfect beyond my imagining, wildly romantic, exactly what you want in a Hoffmann.
Huge complaint: no separate bow for the ballet. Boo.
This worked extremely well for me. I hoped others liked it as much as I did.