Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Pictures by Otak Jump
Riva Bacon, Jackson Beaman, Joanne Bogart, Richard Bogart, Stephen Boisvert, Will Corvino, Bruce Cozzini, Fernando Díez, Kristin Genis-Lund, Inna Gitman, Beverly Hansberry, Christopher Hawks, Terry Hayes, Barbara Heninger, Lisa Hmelar, Kerreck Jones, Lyssa Livingston, Michelle Montoya, Yukiko Murmann*, Cheryl Passanisi, Jenny Paz, Philip Schwarz, Paul Wendt*, Theresa Whitney-Corvino*, Amy Worden, Diane Yeramian.
SupernumerariesJohn Bowley, Clark Crenshaw Koskela, Alyssa Levin, Aida Mohamed, Aria Pleban, Austin Pleban, Elizabeth Shannon, Tania Tengan
Based on three of E.T.A Hoffmann's fantastic stories, Offenbach's last work takes us on a wild and hallucinatory ride from Paris to Munich and Venice and through various states of consciousness, putting infatuation, romantic love and the human condition in perspective along the way. The action unfolds over a prologue, three acts and an epilogue. The prologue provides an opportunity to set up the story, introduce Stella, the diva from Milan and Hoffmann's infatuation du jour, and also to introduce the Muse, Hoffmann's enduring love. The three acts acquaint us with three women, who are really, in Hoffmann's own words, three facets of the same woman: young love, personified by Olympia, the mechanical doll; passionate romantic love, personified by Antonia, the woman who dies from too much singing; and frivolous love, personified by Giulietta, the Venetian courtesan, who drives Hoffmann to kill someone, takes his soul and then walks away with a younger man. They all turn out to be equally irresistible and naturally dangerous. Lindorf, an older gentleman of means, is Hoffmann's nemesis, the personification of evil. Turning into Coppéius in the Olympia story, Dr. Miracle in Antonia's act, and Dapertutto in Giulietta's act, he spoils at every stage Hoffmann's chances to find love. In the epilogue, he walks away with Stella, leaving Hoffmann, drunk and on the floor, to reconnect with his true love, the Muse.
WEST BAY OPERA
JOSÉ LUIS MOSCOVICH
Set and Projections designer
Hoffmann Review – West Bay Opera presents a wonderfully integrated production
By Philip Hodge
*All in all, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a more unified production of Tales of Hoffmann. Everything fit perfectly with everything else. Not only the performers, but everything else about the production.
West Bay Opera: Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann
*Stage director Ragnar Conde did an excellent job of keeping all these elements in the flow of the action. The result is a vastly entertaining production that brings out the magical realism of Hoffmann’s fertile imagination (a century before that term was coined).
Read more: http://operaville.blogspot.com/2012/10/west-bay-opera-offenbachs-les-contes.html
West Bay Opera performs Les Contes d’Hoffmann
* Eschewing the frivolous for a disturbing dreaminess, director Ragnar Conde described his vision as “… the evolution of the artist.” His staging was always clever, with a fine balance of static images and believable action, and with lots of bodies, all in the right places.