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Audio Described

Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney


Sung in French with English surtitles.

Running time

Approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes, including two intervals.

Proudly supported by

The Tales of Hoffmann Syndicate

Four intoxicating parts. One superstar soprano. Homegrown superstar Jessica Pratt returns to Australia to perform in Offenbach’s last and greatest work.

Hoffmann 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.

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 dramatic truth and with a vocal mastery worthy of the greatest” (ConcertoNet).

Iván Ayón Rivas 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 are designed and built by our team in Australia before travelling to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Guillaume Tourniaire conducts.

A co-production between Opera Australia, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera National de Lyon and Fondazione Teatro La Fenice di Venezia.

Cast & Creative

Set Designer
Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Projection Designer
Assistant Director
Eleonora Gravagnola
Coppelius/Dapertutto/Dr Miracle/Lindorf
Antonia's Mother
The Muse
La Harpe

Opera Australia Chorus
Opera Australia Orchestra

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
Overture Dining at the Sydney Opera House

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 three-course menu for just $89.

See the menu



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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