Les Contes d'Hoffmann

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Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann in English) is an opera with Prologue, three Acts and Epilogue with music by Jacques Offenbach and libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carre.

The opera

Les Contes d'Hoffmann is an opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier, based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, who is the protagonist of the story. It was Offenbach's final work.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1962: Presented (as Die verhale van Hoffmann in Afrikaans by the South African Opera Federation.

1964: Presented (as The Tales of Hoffmann) by NAPAC Opera.

1965: Presented (as The Tales of Hoffmann) by NAPAC Opera.

1970: Presented by CAPAB Opera.

1972: Presented by CAPAB Opera.

1979: Presented by CAPAB Opera.

1995: Produced by PACT Opera in October & November of 1995. Conducted by Eve Queler and directed by Neels Hansen. The assistant staging directer was Johan Spies, decor and costumes were by Andrew Botha and lighting was by Stan Knight. The repetiteurs were Susan Steenkamp-Swanepoel and Galina Ryjikova, the stage manager was Amanda van Zyl, the French coach was Lize Thomas and the fencing instructor was Henk van Garderen. The PACT Chorus was under the direction of chorus master Rachelle Jonck. The cast included Hans van Heerden ("Lindorf" and "Dr Miracle"), Tsepo Desando ("Andres"), André Strijdom ("Hermann"), Jannie Moolman ("Nathanael" and "Cochenille"), Carl-Rudolph Kaiser ("Luther"), Keith Ikaia-Purdy ("Hoffmann"), Hanré Lass ("Nicklausse" and "The Muse of Poetry"), Anton Stoltz ("Spalanzani", "Frantz" and "Pittichianaccio"), Rouel Beukes ("Coppelius" and "Crespel"), Hanli Stapela ("Olympia), Mauri Mostert ("Antonia"), Marita Napier ("Giulietta"), John Fletcher (Schlemil), George Stevens ("Dapertutto"), Sam Moraneng ("Wilhelm") and Karin Engelbrecht ("Stella").

1998: Presented by CAPAB Opera (5–20 September)

2012: Presented by Cape Town Opera (24–29 November)


PACT Opera theatre prorgramme for Les Contes d'Hoffmann, October-November 1995

Wikipedia [1]

Wayne Muller. 2018. A reception history of opera in Cape Town: Tracing the development of a distinctly South African operatic aesthetic (1985–2015). Unpublished PhD thesis.

Alexandra Xenia Sabina Mossolow. 2003. The career of South African soprano Nellie du Toit, born 1929. Unpublished Masters thesis. University of Stellenbosch.

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