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Update: 12 July 2021

We’re saddened to announce the postponement of our new production of The Tales of Hoffmann at the Sydney Opera House.

As a result of the NSW Government’s extended stay-at-home orders we are unable to rehearse the production properly or complete the manufacturing in time for the planned opening on 2 August.

We are looking to present The Tales of Hoffmann in a future season. Ticket holders will be contacted.

Venue

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney

Language

Sung in French with English surtitles.

Running time

Approximately 3 hours & 30 minutes, including two intervals.

Proudly supported by

The Hoffmann Syndicate 2021

Hoffman is tipsy and in the mood for storytelling. He’ll tell you of his four great loves: a wind-up doll, an innocent singer, a cruel courtesan … and the woman who combines them all. But who is his mysterious muse? And the evil shadow that dogs his every move?

This is The Tales of Hoffmann: Offenbach’s last and greatest work. It’s an intoxicating mix of emotion and dazzling music, including the famous, fiendishly difficult ‘Doll Song’.

Homegrown superstar soprano Jessica Pratt returns to Australia to sing all the female leads. It’s a rare soprano who can sing these roles and bring you deep into Offenbach’s emotional world. Pratt follows in the footsteps of Joan Sutherland and a handful of other stars who can pull it off. “Pratt… [sings] all the female roles with an irresistible french loaded with dramatic truth and with a vocal mastery worthy of the greatest” – ConcertoNet. Jean-François Borras sings the title character and Marko Mimica sings the four villains.

Celebrated director Damiano Michieletto (Il Viaggio a Reims) creates a brand new production of this beloved opera. Elaborate sets depicting Hoffmann’s three worlds will be designed and built by our team in Australia before travelling to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Carlo Montanaro conducts.

A Co-Production between Opera Australia and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Cast & Creative

Conductor
Director
Set Designer
Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Choreographer
Hoffmann
Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta, Stella
Coppelius, Dappertutto, Dr Miracle, Lindorf
Nicklausse
Antonia's Mother
Spalanzani
Crespel
Nathanaël
Hermann
Frantz, Andres, Cochenille, Pittichinaccio
Schlémil, Luther
La Harpe

Opera Australia Orchestra & Opera Australia Chorus

First Look: The Tales of Hoffmann

See the designs for our dazzling new production

Based on three short stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Tales of Hoffmann sees a tipsy old man telling the stories of the four loves of his life. Each chapter has its own unique character, and bringing those to life requires a creative team with plenty of imagination.

See the designs

Enjoy dinner before the opera

Overture Dining at Sydney Opera House

Allow us to make your dinner reservation for you: at Overture Dining in the Northern Foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre. You’ll be served a themed three-course menu for just $75.

See the menu
Covid Safe logo

Keeping you safe at the theatre

COVID Safety at Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House and its food and beverage venues are registered as COVID Safe businesses with the NSW Government. To ensure a safe and comfortable environment for everyone, the Opera House has made some changes to the way it operates.

Read our plan

Synopsis

Prologue

The Spirits of wine celebrate as Hoffmann’s Muse descends among them. She declares her jealousy of Stella, the beautiful opera star, who she believes threatens her own supremacy over Hoffmann’s soul. She calls on the spirits to assist her in disposing of Stella’s unwanted influence. The Muse herself assumes the guise of Nicklausse, companion to Hoffmann.

A tavern, deserted at first. Counsellor Lindorf arrives and intercepts a letter Stella has written to Hoffmann. It contains the key to her dressing room.

The students enter, thirsty for refreshments during the interval of Don Giovanni. Hoffmann arrives, accompanied by Nicklausse. He is greatly affected by thoughts of Stella, whom he too has been watching at the opera. Although his friends manage to coax him into telling one of his stories — the tale of Kleinzach the dwarf — he cannot keep his mind off Stella’s captivating beauty.

Lindorf and Hoffmann come face to face and exchange insults. Hoffmann tells his friends that whenever he encounters Lindorf he is beset by misfortune, and this reflection prompts him to relate the tales of his three loves.

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