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.
Supernumeraries: 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
A magnificent 'Faust' staged by West Bay Opera,
by John Orr
"In this production, ideated by stage director Ragnar Conde, Faust is an old, failed, genetic scientist in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future, with survivors living among the scrapped, dysfunctional detritus of abandoned power plants.... The old Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto may never have been more effectively filled with imagery."
West Bay Opera delivers triumphant Faust
by Adam Broner
"The excellent conducting of general director José Luis Moscovich, whose insight into Charles Gounod’s music inspired the whole – including an energetic army of volunteers – combined with the post-apocalyptic re-visioning of video artist Frédéric O. Boulay, stage director Ragnar Conde and set designer Peter Crompton for a perceptive and arresting update of a classic. And that underpinning launched an excellent cast, some of whom have already appeared on world-class stages such as the SF Opera, the Met, and the English National Opera.".